Following recent musical explorations in the country, including Dr Vibert Cambridge’s excellent book, Musical Life in Guyana, the current depressed state of our music industry is once again a topic of discussion.
Coincidences can be an intriguing part of life. For the past two weeks, for example, I had been in a back-and-forth with a publisher, Desmond Roberts, of the Guyana Diaspora Times magazine, produced electronically in New York.
Among the many items on the varied ‘to do’ list for Guyana’s new government, the problem of falling standards in our society is being raised frequently by social commentators, and in the very early days following the election President Granger has raised this matter, both specifically and by alluding to it, in several of his speeches.
With the election dust almost settled, I have some suggestions for important items the new government needs to tackle as soon as it gets in harness, but I am sure there will be a flood of other voices raising suggestions – some have already begun – so I’ve decided to shelve my big items for now and focus on some of the minor irritations or inefficiencies that we have to wrestle with every day, in the hope that the folks coming into power may be listening.
Sometimes in life we are in the middle of a major social transition on a national scale, but the intensity of the movement and the frenzy of it can often reach such a pitch that we are not able to see past the furor and recognize, at a deeper level, the fundamental alteration that is taking place.
Frankly speaking, as my columnist friend Alan Fenty would say, I have mixed feelings about the English. There was definitely a time in my early years in Guyana when, to use an English expression, I did not take tea with them.
Two things you should know about me: one is that I’m Guyanese from head to toe. My father came here as a young child from Portugal, and my mother’s parents came from there, but Portugal is just another part of the world to me; there is no special connection; I have no desire whatsoever to go there.