Saturday, December 30, 2006
Bye Bye Saddam
Saddam was no saint and am definitely not shedding any tears here. However, I admit to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. See, the thing is am not a fan of death penalties since I always end up feeling we have once more destroyed the one thing we cannot give.
That aside why was Iraq invaded again? Yeah, I remember it was all about the connection to 911 which was not proved. Then there were those elusive WMD's.No doubt the people of Iraq were being oppressed but so are many other peoples of the world and I don't see the US going in. I guess if those countries had oil it would be a whole nother story.
Anyway, the deed is done with some lingering doubts remaining about the fairness of the trial. That's all history now and as the newcasters say a chapter has been closed in Iraq's history. Somewhere, there is a spin that his death will bring closure to families who lost their loved ones in the ongoing "war". I guess the idea is they died to rid the world of one more tyrant but I would be asking why was it their battle to fight. Now,the only other question or the most pressing one is when will the US troops leave Iraq.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I've been wondering what is St Vincent's special Christmas meal or if we really have one. Most homes would bake black cakes which are fruit and predominantly rum based. However, it's not unique to Vincentians neither is the green peas stew that features heavily around this time of year.
I recall one Christmas spent in Barbados where the specialty was something called jug jug. I don't have a vivid memory of the taste but I recall it being meat based and having either corn or peas cooked along with the meat. Last Christmas my aunt's Guyanese tenants cooked up pepperpot and offered me some. It was really hot but very tasty, I must admit. Trinidadians always talk about pastelles which I gather is a cornmeal pasty filled with meat,raisins etc and steamed in banana leaves. Am sure the other islands more than likely have something unique to them but am yet to find something special to us. Well at least we have Nine Mornings but am still a tad jealous.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Nearest Book
They called him Moshe the Beadle, as though he had never had a surname in his life. He was a man of all work at a Hasidic synagogue. The Jews of Sighet-that little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood-were very fond of him.He was very poor and lived humbly. Generally my fellow townspeople, though they would help the poor were not particularly fond of them. Moshe the Beadle was the exception.
Those lines are from Night- Elie Wiesel's account of the Nazi death camp horror. I've just started reading it so can't say anymore about it. It won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 so that probably tells you how highly rated it is.
Anyway,hope everyone had a Great Christmas.I'd tag Marc but I figure he too busy with a Jcan Christmas. Anybody who feels like doing it can take a shot.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Let love reign
Be kind to your family and loved ones. I've been often guilty of taking mine for granted but am realising how easily they can be gone from our lives. Let's resolve to love one another more in this the season of giving.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Good evening to the Master and Mistress of this house.
We have come to fill your house with Christmas cheer.
I will now turn to my melodious choir...Choir!
The choir was far from melodious but I couldn't believe I was hearing right. Serenading,"singing out or "house to house" as we called it only happened when I was a child.Even then the tradition was on its way out. I looked outside and saw a group of neighbourhood boys and girls,clearly disorganised but having fun.
Anyway, it brought back memories of childhood Christmases when groups would show up unannounced at your home and lustily sing carols and hymns.The speechmaker was the man of the moment with his fluent and humorous lines. After singing the carollers would be rewarded with money or food and drink. Those were the days that unfortunately are now long gone.
Encouraged by the "carollers" and wanting to shake off the gloomy feeling I went to check out the Nine Mornings activity. I know it's probably hard for non Vincentians to understand why we leave our warm beds in the early morning hours to attend the festivities.But,it's so ingrained and an integral part of the celebrations that no one even notices the early hours.Kudos to the Ministry of Tourism for reviving the festival which seemed a few years ago to have lost its way.Am thinking I just may head back to Kingstown tomorrow morning
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Her name was Stacy Wilson and she was just 21 years old. Little did she know that when she boarded a minibus that fateful afternoon of Monday the 11th that she was minutes away from being executed. Her only crime being the refusal of the advances of her murderer.Five days after her slaughter I remain horrified at the events that took place at the Bus Terminal. Amidst the horror another emotion viz anger rages within me.
I am angry at the way our women are too often at the receiving end of violent acts from our menfolk. I remain angry at a system that pays lip service to women's rights but remains powerless to protect us. A system that turns away women who report that they are threatened by men and attempts to trivialize it. A system that is reluctant to involve itself in what is perceived as a lovers quarrel. I am angry at those who seek to justify Stacy's death by theorising that it must have been a romantic situation gone sour for him to react in such a manner.
I am utterly disgusted at our authorities response to the murder. Can anybody explain why it took more than an hour for Stacy's headless body to be removed from the Bus Terminal? Yes, am aware that there is a requirement for doctors to pronounce victims dead before the body could be removed but surely this could have been expedited.
Instead,the unnecessary delay in removing the body allowed far too many persons to capture photographs of the mutilation which were then splashed all over the Internet. Surely, even in death we could have offered Stacy some more dignity. At least we owed her that much after she lost her life in such a heinous way.
And why hasn't there been a national day of mourning? For the most part we are a nation reeling in horror with too many of us having seen the unimaginable. It just cannot be business as usual with our collective psyche so badly damaged. We need to unite, share our grief and see how we can prevent another such horror from occurring. Stacy's blood cries out for nothing less.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Less than a year later the joke is on me.So many lessons to be learnt from the st Lucian election chief of which is there is a leadership crisis evident in many of our islands. It took an octogenarian to do what the successor couldn't do which is win an election. I look at my own country's case and see nothing to prevent Sir James reclaiming the reins of his party if he so desires.On the other side of the fence Gonsalves looms large with no clear successor within his party.
Secondly,incumbent governments must beware of complacency. No matter how glitzy you make the campaign the bottom line is if the populace feels its needs are not being met then they will show you the door. Matter of fact when the people fed up they just plain fed up.
It's kinda hard for incumbents too especially heading into third terms.By then what is there to really say or do? Most times it seems as if there is hardly any new ideas and more a going along with the tide.
So over to Compton. Hopefully,his Govt buckles down to business and doesn't spend the entire term harping on the mess they inherited. Much is expected but the question is whether all or most of the expectations can be met.
PS:Leon and Island spice for some reason your blogs won't let me post comments.
Monday, December 11, 2006
How can you reconcile a young girl being dragged out of a bus and hacked to death in public view? And for what? My heart aches tonight for a young girl who didn't deserve to be killed like an animal, for a mother who somehow has to carry on after this tragedy and for a country that is becoming increasingly violent.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Those C'mas Songs
Anybody ever really listened to Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas"? If so,those are some pretty strong dreams and hopes eh. Won't it be just great if someday at Cmas men won't be boys playing with bombs like kids play with toys? Even better would be a Christmas day where men are equal and no men have fears. Maybe not in time for you and me but someday at Christmas time.
When I was a child I hated to hear Mahalia Jackson sing but now can't get enough of "It came upon a midnight clear". Then there are the modern favourites like Luther Vandross's Every year,Every christmas and Mariah Carey's " O Holy Night". And of course there is nothing like some parang or soca songs to get your feet moving. Unfortunately,didn't hear any this morning but am sure I'll have my fill this week.
So which Christmas carol or song is your favourite?
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
In November there was a trickle of barrels making their way to homes. Now,it is becoming a steady stream which will escalate into a torrent by mid to late December. Woe be unto the others who not so fortunate to have relatives overseas generous to send them stuff that they see on tv but would not necessarily buy
Nevermind that there is usually a mad rush at the Customs and sometimes persons have to wait hours on end before they finally get their hands on the precious commodity. They are still eagerly anticipated by the recipients who take pride in announcing to everyone that the daughter in New York or the son in Toronto will be sending them their C'mas goodies.
Even the Govts,at least the OECS ones recognise the value of these barrels and in the spirit of goodwill ofer some concessions. Then again it could be some potential votes not that the recipents care too much in the heat of reaping the benefits.
After all this talk I sure wish one was coming my way
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Lately though everyone keeps asking when am getting married. Sunday morning after church a woman walked up to me and after exchanging small talk she enquired if am married as yet. Expressing shock that the answer was not in the affirmative she proceeded to lecture me on the sanctity of marriage as well as remin dme that it is for the young such as myself.
I know women have to be concerned about their biological clocks but it seems as if once you get to a certain age marriage clocks begin ticking as well. I have observed that people never take time to fin dout if one is in a position financially,mentally or emotionally to get married. Most of all they never even ask if the person wants to get married. Instead, they just assume once you've been dating person x for a specific time then marrriage should be automatic. Don't get me wrong and think am against marriage as am not. I just hate the subtle and not so subtle pressure persons exert simply because they feel the game should be played by their rules.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Fighting the HIV battle
Around forty million people are living with HIV throughout the world-and that number increases every day. In the Caribbean alone 250,000 or 330,000 depending on the source are are infected with the disease. Haiti and the Dominican republic account for more than 3/4 of this number. According to the latest UN Report the Caribbean remained relatively stable.
Am excited since this means that we are doing something right since the infection rate is not spiralling out of control. However, there is still much more work to be done. Sure, the access to antiretroviral drugs is a plus in prolonging life but the education campaign still needs beefing up.
Far too many people still discriminate against those who are suffering from the disease. This leads to persons being reluctant to know their status for among other things the fear of stigmatisation. Yes, homosexuals are people too and the homophobia present in the Caribbean prevents this sector of persons from getting the support they need in protecting themselves against HIV. Judgemental health workers,take note.
Finally, we have to target our young who are the ones most vulnerable to the disease. Hard as it may be for parent/adults to digest it is essential to spread the message of safe sex. Abstinence is all well and good but the reality is that a significant percentage of teens are sexually active. Let's
be prepared to support them in their decision making if they choose to have sex.
Protect yourself people, educate yourself. It's the only way to halt the spread of the disease.