A rollciking good time was had by Georgetownwers

Stabroek News
February 27, 2000

Well, 'Mash' has come and gone and since everything becomes political in this country, PNC people will point out what a debacle it was (I've already heard some of the negative comments - you know, like all the tunes being played were stale re-runs of T&T's '99 Carnival, instead of the local Mash 2000 calypsos); and the PPP forces, aided by the Chronicle, Robert and Anand Persaud, etc., will drive us insane over the next few weeks with repeats of the Mash 2000 celebration tapes, while they tell us how Mashramani will unite the people and why it is the greatest thing since Velcro and the best happening prior to the second coming.

The fact of the matter is that this was the best Mashramani celebration by far. At least for Georgetowners. It shows us that if we market commodities and concepts correctly, the masses will respond accordingly. I suppose it wasn't too difficult to market Mash, for the simple reason that fundamentally we want peace and harmony and to just have fun. Moreover, we are a nation starved of entertainment. So the people came out by the tens of thousands and had a rollicking good time. Some more than others. Those who could wine and grind and practically perform sexual intercourse on the trucks and low loaders, were having a better time exhibiting, ah we kulcha, than those who were plodding behind bands, gyrating to a music they could hardly hear.

Even the ministers seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. The omnipresent Sash Sawh led his band from start to finish, enjoying himself and perhaps making up for the playdays he didn't have growing up in Mahaicony. Prime Minister Sam displayed an energy that I wish he would use to manners his belittlers. Indra and Moses looked tired by the time I saw them, perhaps that's why they were dancing out of time. Of course, Indra had the disadvantage of not being able to wear one of her fabulous chapeaux. Minister Collymore had a unique and indescribable dance step which he should patent; and, wonder of wonders, he was smiling.

Desi exhibited his happiness in his own way, quite unable to zeg. Jump and wine was never his speed. Marching yes. Waving to the crowds and heh-hehing, yes. Dancing a mean foxtrot and a waltz, yes. Bump and grind to ah we kulcha, no way.

Help me to get this right. Democracy, I am told, means the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. Anarchy means unrestricted liberty. So when Little Joe was uninhibitedly insulting Mr Sam Hinds in his winning calypso, was he expressing the will of the people or his own personal freedom to break all the rules of decency and fair play? I suppose the judges will argue that calypso is picong. So why did they boot out Ras Marcus, who Cassandra-like predicted the type of calypso that would win? But 'Madness' by Ayambo had all the sting and biting social commentary without sinking into the gutter lyrics of little Joe that the judges seemed to enjoy more.

However, I suppose it is to be expected. After all, we strive to copy T&T. And the T&T judges allow Cro-Cro and Sugar Aloes to maliciously destroy citizens with mendacious lyrics. Last year, even the wife of the Prime Minster was vilified in the nastiest possible way. Anyway, if they want to copy T&T, they should follow Port of Spain's post-Carnival clean up campaign. Within hours of the Last Lap on Carnival Tuesday night, the streets are litter free. On Ash Wednesday one would never know that one million people had been throwing their refuse about during the pervious 48 hours.

Guyanese, renowned for their hospitable nature, will lose this praiseworthy tradition, if we direct acid, vituperative lyrics against those who, because of their own sense of decency, will not defend themselves.

I suppose I am still infected with Mash fever and therefore am in a good mood. So I'll share with you some funny (as in strange and as in hilarious) advertisements. I swear I heard an advertisement lately that is promoting a rent-a-tool business. The company offers tools and equipment for rent, including ladders, metal files, blowtorches, etc. Guess the address of the Company. Lot 12 Camp Street! I swear I ent lie.

Then there is the Lottery Company, telling us every day that they have added more numbers, so as to improve our chances of winning. Well, even a non-mathematician and figures gymnast cannot prove that having more numbers to choose from enhances the possibility of winning. In fact, quite as an aside, it is mathematically quite astounding that people win so often. Every couple of weeks we have a winner.

Also the Bristol ad-men have placed this full-page sales pitch in the newspaper extolling their client's product as being our own Guyanese taste. But right at the bottom of the advertisement is the warning from our Minister of Health saying that the very product is dangerous to our health. So, you Image Doctors, tell me how something can be good for and not good for me at the same time.

A classic ad is the one promoting GBTI. It says that the bank does not discriminate on the basis of its customers' wealth. Does it follow then that they discriminate on the basis of other considerations, like race, gender, creed? Of course not. Actually, they want to project that they'll take anybody's money, the rich, the poor, the infirm, the aged, the ugly, etc. Well then, Mr Advertising Agent, say so. Don't tell us what your client doesn't do.

You remember the other day (CCC 13.2.2000) I mentioned three reasons why Christ was surely Black. Well friends have been sending me proof the Jesus was Italian, Puerto Rican, Californian and, yes, that he was a woman. The three proofs of the latter:

(i) She had to feed a crowd at a moment's notice - when there was no food.
(ii) She kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it.
(iii) Even when she was dead she had to get up because there was more work for her to do.

Pardon my blasphemy. I take full responsibility and will go alone to hell - where I hope to find my best friends.