Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the news today....

Pick a day, any day, scan the newspaper. What do you see? Most days; someone shot someone, someone died in an accident on the road, some government minister did something, some commission of inquiry has inquires into it, or some residents are protesting something somewhere. Yup, that's pretty much it, I don't why we bother to buy the newspapers or watch the television news, it's like that Bill Murray/Geena Davis movie that you geriatrics who read this blog should remember, Groundhog Day.

Anyway, due to occupational hazard, I cannot avoid the news so mostly, it's suck it up and wade through it with the, increasingly, dim hope that somewhere in there....well, whatever. Recently I took down a blog because it upset someone. That's not something that happened lightly, suffice to say, it was necessary. But it left a residual burn. You see, every day that I go through the news I become more convinced that I want to quit the "I am a Trini" club and head off to somewhere else.

Sure there is crime etc everywhere but you know what, I'd like to live in a place where people respect the law, or at least a place where the law is enforced. Where people do not think it's okay to go through the red traffic light. Where businesses do not take their customers for granted doling out shitty service because they can. Where grocery prices are not arbitrary. Where there are rules for landlords too. Where good sense it applied, not whatever vaps catch some politician on a given day.

Take for instance the whole property tax brouhaha that's been occupying us lately. We've always had to pay land and building taxes but now we're upset because, god help us, they're actually being updated! Sure it's going to cost some folks more, but it's going to cost some folks less, and if you're a pensioner, you have the right to appeal. In other words, if you can't pay, you can't pay. Or so the Ministry of Finance people say. The irony is that we will whinge about it, but in the end, it will be something else we accept. How do I know? Does anybody remember the furore over Value Added Tax. I sure do. When introduced about twenty years ago, VAT was supposed to be a temporary measure. Given that there are temporary buildings that have been around since World War II, I don't hold out much hope that it's going away in my lifetime. The bright side is you don't have to pay property tax every time you take out your wallet.

And then there's that thing about swine flu being the reason the Caribbean Games were cancelled. Yeah, sure, right, whatever you say dude. It had nothing to do with the lack of big names participating or dwindling enthusiasm or even post Summit burn-out. Swine flu, which by the way is rearing it's swinish head again with lethal consequences. As a rule I never agree with Sat Maharaj, the Maha Sahba man, but you know, when he advocated closing schools to slow the spread he was on to something. Clearly Felipe Calderon was a man with brass balls, in Mexico they shut everything down. Sure it didn't completely eradicate it but it did cut down on the number of cases. Of course, how would Trinis be able to lime if we did that? Twenty lashes with a wet noodle for stupidity for me. In five weeks our little island is going to be flooded with people from some fifty countries around the globe. This is "where the world meets" right. So all these people, carrying all their germs are going to descend upon us and our wonderful, efficient health care system. I don't know about you, but I rest easy knowing that the MInistry of Health has got it all under control if their news releases are anything to go by.

And then there is Keith Rowley. Well wouldn't you know, time in the cold, away from the comfort of Cabinet and colleagues suddenly makes one grow a conscience. It would appear that all his concerns materialised overnight because surely they could not have been cumulative if it bothers him so much? He would have spoken up before now, right? And the Uff Inquiry...well, does anybody know what the outcome of Piarco 1, 2 and 3 was? Remember those, what happened?

Look, as things go our lives could be worse, think about it. We're blessed, we're not freezing our collective asses off, we have free education, free pharmaceuticals, access to training, grants etc and when all else fails, we fete. We're really good at blame, not so good at solutions but everything in time. And yet, considering the shrinking globe, the information age and all that, with all those "best practices" lying around you'd think we would bloody learn......and this is why I'm contemplating turning in my membership.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fix You

Sunday, day of rest. Or something like that.

Chris Martin at the BBC crooning, "in my place, in my long must I wait for it...come back and sing to me"

I'm singing along, badly. We all know I can't sing but my dog does not mind, in fact, to him it's music because his mummy is home and he can bug her to throw a ball to his little furry heart's content. Not that his mistress is amused but you take the lovies where you can get it.

A week ago, a post full of resignation. Not a commentary on anything, just some introspection. Lot of that going on lately. Asking, what if, why not, maybe...a word filled with infinite promise. Crap, my download speed has just stopped speeding and slowed to a trickle and Coldplay is reduced to stops and starts. Yes, I confess, it was You Tube that I was "watching". Technology not always working for us in the third world.

So I took the post down. Because I couldn't stand to have it up anymore. Not because the person was close, or because the subject matter was distasteful. Because it simply did not matter anymore. Recently an artist friend did a body of work on crime in Trinidad. She put a lot of thought, effort and time into it. She is my friend, she is someone I care about, I went to see her work. I admired her passion, wished that many more people could have seen it. But truthfully, realised that while I supported her, it was her show, her opinion, her passion. Not mine. Sure there is bad stuff happening here, bad things happen everywhere, it is how we cope, how we acknowledge and the things we do to change or not as the case might be. She's doing what she can, as am I.

I write about things. Another friend takes pictures and yet another gets out and crusades. We are what we are. This morning with Chris crooning there is a part of me that wants to re-affirm that I'm living.....