Two items, ‘Stretched Out Magazine’ and ‘No Big Thing’ produced annually as a treat for the Christmas season on the radio and television have lost their sting. They both are not even remotely a shadow of themselves when they first started, especially ‘No Big Thing.’ For whatever reason they both seemed to be stretched out, somewhat redundant, and no longer teasing and provocative except when slightly ribbing here and there. Not that there isn’t material around and about – no way! This country possesses now more than ever a plethora of material ranging from the slightly funny to the most crazy, bizarre and preposterous to seriously make you laugh ‘till yuh cry.’ Over the years these two items have been looked forward to the most, but over the last few years what we have been seeing is basically a rehash of old pieces, coloured slightly differently. They have not been inspiring, sensational or thought provoking, which as I understood it was the principal motive behind these productions along with some light banter/levity. Whatever the failings of our society, our negligence, decadence, follies, the excessive and brazen trappings of ministers/government officials in the use of state funds, the ridiculous – our state of affairs in short – all was captured and dramatically presented back to us in a most delightful manner for our consideration and amusement. This was how it was during the Burnham/PNC rule for quite some time. What we have been getting for the past years in spite of glaring and palpable improprieties and irregularities, is simply put, ‘jokey.’
For the longest while artists in this country, especially calypsonians, have been flooded with rich materials that would leave many of their Caribbean counterparts with mouths agape not knowing where to start.
No wonder the culpable officials who ought to be fair game in these shows enjoy themselves and get much more fun than us ordinary folks. Their uproarious and infectious laughter with favourite glass and drink in hand, aside from succulent servings, will be in evidence as they view the programmes in pleasant anticipation. Then you don’t have to ask who is really having a good laugh.