The year 2012 for me ended with some wonderful, interesting and serious articles in your Dec 29 and 30 editions, the authors of which I would like to commend; they are deserving of a star, or better yet, in West Indies cricket lingo – six runs!
A brief glance at a few: first, we were taken to task and challenged for just once to shun our stereotyped inclination of making resolutions for “personal aims and objectives” for a more unified wish, which is practical and reachable and something we can work towards as a nation; “A Guyanese resolution” that can bring us closer towards our One People, One Nation, One Destiny dream. Jairo Rodrigues exhorts us to come clean on a list of things: work towards ending corruption; stop the abuse and violence in all forms; practise recycling; use and promote local products; practise road safety; report accidents and crimes; give children a nurturing environment; stop the defamatory music and don’t invite repulsive artistes; promote Guyana and practise patriotism; respect each other and think of others before self. He challenges us to work with each other for the greater good and for something that will benefit all; to strive to be the change we want to see in society and work towards it for the nation. This “Guyanese resolution” though no piece of o’ cake was a positive appeal, a perfect six!
Then there was ‘Stella’ who named Woman of the Year 2012 as Sherlina Nageer, aka Lina Free. Well, after reading about the woman fighter with such revolutionary zeal I just couldn’t think of another who could be compared – not ever remotely – for this title, no disrespect to those who have stood steadfast through the years. Incidentally this article reminded me of USA one-time-Vice-President-of NAACP Addie Clinton, a black woman who I was reading about only a few days before. She almost single-handedly organised and fought against racism in the South. It was a real good feeling, refreshing to know that there are such women amongst us of undaunted spirit, bold and resolute. They are indeed, “an icon and beacon of hope,“ exemplary, and an encouragement and inspiration to others. Though a personal award, I think this article was a grim reminder of some of the obnoxious things that bedevilled us during the year and so a fine presentation in ending the year – another one over the boundary.
Like many of his episodes which are gem-like, Dave Martins ‘Unsolicited New Year advice’ was simply on target; it was for real, just hitting the right chords. It is what every artist can’t afford to overlook; indeed a guiding light for aspiring young artistes.
Once there is a scintilla of interest in the creative/artistic you couldn’t not be consumed by unsolicited New Year advice from an expert in the craft – he‘s been in town much too long not to know. What he pointed out was so palpable that you know it is inescapable; part and parcel of the creative process. And I liked the order in which the items of advice were arranged. Indeed that was a flush hit. And in passing, I want to congratulate that youthful trio ‘Collage’ for starting a ‘music revolution’; what soothing breeze it is for the new year that these youngsters have pledged to be different: “People see us and expect us to do something average and Caribbean, whether it’s soca, chutney, or reggae, but we go above the limit.” Isn’t that wonderful, dare to go against the grain, the same same?
And yet another was Creighton’s ‘Maybe poets are just unhappy people.‘ So good it was to see included among the ‘Old Masters‘ “an old classic which belongs to the region’s celebrated oral poetry” – Mooma Mooma by Lord Kitchener, a masterpiece indeed that has become permanent at Christmas, like his everlasting January Girl that salutes women born in January and is played at the beginning of every year.
There are some still steeped in a certain trend of thought, who have a kind of fanatical reverence for the old masters who couldn’t be spoken of in the same breath as our local homebred craftsmen who are often seen as too mundane and unsophisticated, even though they have mastered the art of capturing life in all its nuances just like the ‘Old Masters.’
But it wouldn’t be fair of me not to stitch in AA Fenty’s ‘Creole Christmas’ on radio; an invaluable input though a different medium, and which just like Kitchener’s Mooma Mooma has become a kind of staple and much looked forward to musing at Christmas.
His stories are very amusing, nostalgic and at times even emotional; as he rightly said they are not all made-up stories, some are very real everyday people experiences, but they were so enjoyable, and really spiced up the season.
Well I’ve got to give it to all those mentioned above for spending valuable time to enlighten and give us a different perspective. And I do hope that Jairo Rodrigues’ ‘Guyana Resolution’ would find some favour where at least we share together some really meaningful national achievement, no matter how small. We all can resolve to do and be better by starting with the “man in the mirror,” as Michael Jackson implored us in the song; that we can just a teeny-weeny bit more care for each other and be less narcissistic about self. Lord knows, it’s just not funny the kind of satisfaction and bliss we get from hearing unpleasant things about others, and the bitterness that stirs deep within engendered by positive/ good news. At the drop of a hat we go for the jugular, ready to condemn and put down –even for a fly speck – as if we are so perfect and puritanical. Going through an old Essence magazine, I saw an advertisement celebrating black history; it says: “Give strength to the weak, give a chance to the sincere at heart, give inspiration to those in need, and when there is nothing left to give, give love… be giving.”
Just hope that the good forces of 2013 overwhelm us to change for the better.