“C” is for Christmas, Chanderpaul, Corruption…

Frankly Speaking

I noticed that I used the same theme and style, as in today’s lead caption, a few years ago. And again, today’s treatment is (lazily) intentional. Like the letter “F”, “C” is an important first letter in the Guyanese alphabet. (Check and you’ll find that letters such as “Q”, “V” or Z don’t start as many English words as “F” and “C”. Today, let’s explore words beginning with “C”. In a Guyana “Yuletide” season.

Naturally, we begin with “C” for Christmas. Strange, that in our secular democracy with so many permissible faiths and “religions”, we have no problem with saying, selling and celebrating the actual Christmas festival. Believe it or not, even in the mighty American democracy debates, even advisories, instruct that the actual word “Christmas” be dropped! Some citizens and media say “Happy Holidays” instead.

Why? Well it is now argued that America’s non-Christian community in schools and elsewhere might be offended! Wow! So American Christians are slowing deprived of their right?

Our own country-wide Christmas observance is now heavily commercialised. True genuine Christians must know how to separate Christ from cash – two other powerful “C’s”.

Chanderpaul is not my favourite batsman. But I can’t even hold a bat properly. As has been frequently written, Mr Chanderpaul has demonstrated what determination concentration and commitment can do for us in this life. Besides his current  top ranking, his records and, as Ian McDonald says the “leases” he has on all cricket grounds, that little fellow from a fishing village has sustained Guyana’s place in international cricket – after Lloyd, Kanhai and Gibbs. A powerful “C” is he!

Negative “C’s”?

No! Please don’t tell me that I live in the most corrupt country in Caricom (3 “C’s” ).
Or in the most stinking capital city in this part of the planet. Corruption characterises our lofty national projects and even smaller business projects. “Corruptocracy” seems to be a new culture.

No need for me to dwell on that awful “C” which also taints this once-innocent land – cocaine. Even our courts can’t scare our barons and their couriers! But I’m now worried at what’s happening with or to, our Nation’s birth certificate – our constitution. Look what’s happening in our National Assembly as the constitution, Parliament’s standing orders and judicial (court) interpretations and decisions seem to collide. Discuss.

Your own “C’s”

Try to be a little light-hearted of spirit when you are home on holiday for Christmas. List your own “C’s”. I’ll help.

Culture – a people’s behaviour and traditions expressed through the arts sometimes. (We have added unfortunate features to ours these days.) Class – pray for our working-class, our poor majority. Cricket – where is compromise to guide control here? Claus – Santa’s surname. Compassion throughout the season and beyond. Campaign – what type? Care, courtesy, consideration and, all the other “C’s” missing from road users’ consciousness. I’ll conclude my contribution before I confuse you. I’m purchasing early for my Old Year’s Night Cook-up. Merry Christmas, with caution.

Where was God?

This is always a convenient question when believers review evil and tragedy and their consequences.

No other American tragedy – inclusive of 9/11 – has ever affected me so powerfully as last week-end’s Elementary School massacre in that innocent Connecticut town. I suspect that the American President was also overwhelmingly touched, as his public response revealed.

Tears also forced their way from me as I became aware of the young angelic victims, their parents and their community. This massacre was hideously different. Because, as at Jesus’ birth, it was a modern-day slaughter of innocents!

Those interested and similarly moved would have been inundated with the numerous aspects of yet another American tragedy – from gun control to issues of mental health. So I now merely comment on an element of spirituality. Many asked why did God allow this to happen to his twenty angels. Where was he last Friday morning?

Former Republican Governor Huckabee offered a response on his talk show. The God-faring Governor pointed to the on-going attempts – some successful – (by the “left”) to remove God from schools, from prayers, from most of America’s officialdom. (Perhaps the move is to accommodate non-Christians.)

Now when tragedy and evil visit, people ask for God. But Huckabee went on to suggest that God was still there – in the first-responders, the heroic teachers, the community which came together to hurt and to hug. What say you? What a profound question to contemplate? (He “allows” these things for a reason? Illustrate what happens when you worship the devil of guns?)


Muse at Christmas-time

President Obama did suggest that God called the children and the adult victims to their Heavenly home. Why?

Wally is going to the VIP section of the Gospel concert ($20,000?) Wally is wearing clothes –from underwear to wristwatch and shoes worth $455,000!

Jenny is from a squatting area on the West Demerara, she wants to go to the concert, but can’t.  She did not eat yesterday.

Great expectation! GPSU President Yarde expects additional increases for Public Servants in the 2013 National Budget. Great stuff Pat. I actually want you to succeed.

At last? Years overdue! They’re going to take vagrants off the streets to suitable rehab lodgings at West Berbice?

’Til next week!

(Comments? allanafenty@yahoo.com)

default placeholder

Corruption: A global evil of the rich

Quite often, when guilty, immoral or indifferent persons are confronted with deeds or thoughts which are negative to good order, to righteousness, even national development, they slink and hide behind one mantra: “It happen everywhere, not only in Guyana.” Not choosing to come out publicly, even privately, to denounce wrong-doing, they – usually normal folks – choose not to be courageous.

default placeholder

Justice and Guyana’s Courts

A brief visit to two of Georgetown’s Magistrates Courts was enough to re-trigger my years-long consideration of local administrators of legal justice in our homeland.

default placeholder

Security: Personal precautions, private companies

I am aware of the United Nations’ definition of human security. It now embraces wide-ranging sub-concepts – from refugee security to gender security, economic, environmental, food, health, community, cultural,  political and , of course, personal security.

default placeholder

Bad police, good police

-The Anniversary Broth: Too many (new) cooks?Some years ago my column containing some of the following sentiments was titled, in part-creole, `Aftuh Gawd, is Police!’ The expression meant that no matter how the working-class society disparage the police service, whenever there was imminent or present criminal danger, after soliciting divine assistance from their heavenly creator (God) folks swiftly sought recourse to police expertise and personnel.

default placeholder

My own Independence regrets – and identity problems

In terms of “Independence Regrets”, I’m repeating sentiments I’ve had published elsewhere in this newspaper. That’s because in case they were missed, I feel they merit repetition for the “regulars” of this Friday feature.

default placeholder

One-year report card: Revelations and inaction

You all know that it’s almost a personal “policy” not to join roaring debates on current national issues, as I prefer to defer to those with superior qualifications and experience.

default placeholder

Slowly understanding their Indianness

-‘It was always illegal’ Two small up-front points: I’m glad I actually purchased a Guyana Times this past Sunday (I’m not too much a regular); secondly, what follows is as much a testimony to my fascination with other people’s Indianness in Guyana, as it is a brief nano-summary of my continually-delayed enlightenment on the issue, the phenomenon, the complex matrix of (a) people’s origins, history, culture, religion, ethnicity and generational lifelong bond.

default placeholder

Arrival, ‘cohesion’, Douglahs

The American “Solidarity Forever” trade union battle song was meant to say it all: in unity there is working-class strength; strength to negotiate workers’ rights even though there should be no need to have to “bargain” for just rewards.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: