Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Cultural Contingent strikes again

Every time I read about 'cultural contingents' meeting people at Piarco airport to celebrate them, I cringe and feel very sorry for the one(s) arriving. Tired after a long journey ... wanting to go to bed, go to your family or friends ... hungry ... wanting time alone ... But instead, having to smile politely and go through the motions as you are greeted by an overzealous 'cultural contingent': dancing moko jumbies, pan, tassa, large expensive banners and posters screaming WE LOVE YOU! (courtesy many previously uninvolved corporate sponsors), smiling politicians who had no time for you before suddenly hugging you, proclaiming pride, asking for autographs for themselves and family, posing for paparrazzi so they can star with you on the front page of the papers the next day ...

Well, it turns out that the Warriors will in fact be celebrated on Saturday 24th June, the day originally selected for Diva's launch. As a result, Diva, being the Goddess that she is and knowing that nothing happens before its time, has graciously stepped aside and loaned her spotlight to the Warriors.

Needless to say, the streets of Woodbrook will be a melee. Or, to be more precise, perhaps the streets of the entire nation will be a melee. How many people from Sando to Toco to Glencoe will be trying to squeeze themselves along Ariapita Avenue or into the stadium?

Today's newspaper gives hints as to what can be expected: a motorcade "complete with confetti" and speeches and performances in the stadium. More Cultural Contingentness. Is this what PM meant by a celebration "the likes of which this country has never seen before"? Perhaps there is more. The papers also report that the Warriors are sceptical about the PNM's promises of 'reward'. I don't blame them. They were promised 'a reward' after Bahrain and are still waiting for it. Prior to leaving for Germany they were told (about receipt of rewards): "We will see what happens after Germany." Yes, we will see.

With Jack Warner now saying that he will no longer be footing the bill for the Warriors (Beenhakker's salary, etc.), one wonders if (at the celebration "the likes of which this country has never seen before") the Government will annouce that they will now foot the bill.

One "True Soca Warriors fan" (as she put it) wrote a letter to the Editor today suggesting that if each working citizen put $5 a month into a fund, the citizens of TT would be able to pay Beenhakker's salary. What I liked about her letter was not so much the suggestion, but the fact that she is someone who is at least thinking of (and suggesting) simple ways in which we can make things happen as everyday people, without waiting on or blaming a Government and corporate sector who do nothing and care nothing for us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see the cultural contingencies being warrior-like and sparring for the limelight but possibly getting elbowed out by some very forward VIP's. It's like a red be it but post-show what is really needed is for groups of thoughtful, imaginative citizens to conceive of ways to sustain the interest and the energy and more importantly build on that unfailing display of hard work and team effort that the boys showed in Germany. The message was clear to many of us but did it truly reach the thousands of young impressionables or the older idle drifters who dream of bling and glory without a notion of struggle? There for all the world to see was not island complacency but no-joke hard work. And if they could do it why can't we? Is it because there's no Leo to lead us? Well our dear PM is a Leo (Aug. 17) but is sadly guided by a self-inflated image. So what do we do? There are lions among us who are up to the task but how to persuade them to take up the task in a place that is overrun by hyenas?

9:51 AM  

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