So It Go

Music as regional glue

Music as regional glue

(This column originally appeared in the ‘Caricom Review Magazine,’ July 2013)We have been at it as far back as 1921, when the Jamaican legislature saw a motion to ask the British Colonial Office to consult the other islands on the idea of a federation – this notion of regional unity, that is .

Colonialism: We took what we wanted

Colonialism: We took what we wanted

Barely a month passes in the English-speaking Caribbean without a reference on some stage or in some letter or political speech to the deleterious effects of colonialism upon us .

Time standing still

Time standing still

Most of the truly riveting or memorable things we’ve seen reside in still photographs that freeze a fleeting moment and hold it for us forever .

Here’s my question

Here’s my question

It is often the case in life that you see absurd behaviour taking place and you immediately know the reason; like a driver running a red light at full speed .

Up in the air

Up in the air

Airline travel these days is often a taxing and frequently painful experience .

Socialisation at Saints

Socialisation at Saints

There is a Guyanese organisation in Toronto called the St .

Take a deep breath and move on

Take a deep breath and move on

I get a modest monthly American Federation of Musicians Union pension cheque which I deposit in the bank here, but it takes 30 working days, yes 30, for foreign cheques to clear (money laundering; fraud, etc, is the reason you’re given) which means, taking in weekends, foreign holidays and ours, that it’s actually closer to 45 days .

How far we’ve come, how far to go

How far we’ve come, how far to go

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t need to wade through reams of data or voluminous comparisons to reach some basic conclusions on seemingly complex matters; that we can often get a clear and almost instantaneous insight on these issues from indicators staring us in the face .

The Black Watch time

The Black Watch time

A friend of mine, who knows I love Martin Carter, alerted me to a recent letter in the press by Ruel Johnson that contained a poem by Martin apparently written in the dark days of our suspended constitution .

Stoking the cultural economy

Stoking the cultural economy

During Mashramani this year, my friend Vibert Cambridge and his New York-based Guyana Cultural Association (GCA) organised a Masquerade Band competition on a Saturday morning in Victoria .

This modern efficient age

This modern efficient age

So it Go

You’re going to have to stay with me on this one; it’s quite an experience .

Some hopeful signs

Some hopeful signs

So It Go

The information from daily reportings of various traumas in a country, whether from government actions or personal behaviours, can become a surround creating a feeling of hopelessness in the citizens .

Ah glad tuh see duh

Ah glad tuh see duh

So It Go

We have a number of folks with very perceptive eyes writing columns or letters to the press on a daily basis pointing out various traumas or irregularities in the country .

Man on a mission

Man on a mission

So It Go

It’s not on the main road, so you can drive by it every day and not know it’s there, as thousands do .

Timehri before Timehri

Timehri before Timehri

So it Go

It happens without fail: every time I come or go from our major airport at Timehri, I’m caught up in a memory of the time in the mid-1950s when I worked there as a youngster .

Semantic manoeuvres

Semantic manoeuvres

So It Go

From a youth in Saints, dealing with Mr Singh and Mr Stanley Fernandes who taught us English, I was drawn to the intricacies of words and the shades of meaning that one could extract merely from word choice .

Turmoil in calypso

Turmoil in calypso

So it Go

Somewhere in the early ’80s, Tradewinds came to Guyana to take part in Mashramani with a substitute bass player, Burman Scott, from Cayman .

The concrete of partisan politics

The concrete of partisan politics

So it Go

When I lived in the Cayman Islands, I became friendly with a young businessman there largely based on our interest in Caribbean culture, personalities, social movements, etc .

Recognise opportunity when it comes

Recognise opportunity when it comes

So it Go

Guyana is up in arms this week over news that the Chinese are building a Marriott Hotel here but not employing any Guyanese in the construction work, and that we’re also going to have a Chinese TV channel; yes, Sumintra, a Chinese TV channel in Guyana .

Change is about leverage

Change is about leverage

So it Go

In recent weeks, probably propelled by fading hopes for “a new day” with our new Parliament, we have seen some stirring letters to the press citing Guyana’s diverse difficulties and calling for the citizenry to become more socially active .

Living with LIAT

Living with LIAT

So It Go

In just a few months from now, the regional airline LIAT will begin using the expanded facilities at Ogle Airport ferrying passengers to and from the Caribbean .

This dialect

This dialect

So It Go

Anyone who knows anything about my work in music will know of my commitment to Caribbean dialect .

Our 1823 Monument

Our 1823 Monument

So It Go

On civic matters in Guyana, while there are often opportunities for discussion or exchange, we have a marked tendency to eschew that route and simply make pronouncements .

I can do without that

I can do without that

So It Go

Wherever we happen to live, our end-of-year diversions usually include the media interest in New Year resolutions .

Dem Bajans

Dem Bajans

So It Go

From the start of Tradewinds, I’ve always had a thing with ‘dem Bajans .

Unsolicited New Year advice

Unsolicited New Year advice

So It Go

Good musical sense is the ability to know, without being directed, what to play and where to play it and, just as importantly, when not to play at all .

I just don’t get it

I just don’t get it

Dave Martins - So it Go

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this interest about understanding how things work, about the intricacies at play, about the skills involved .

Say ‘I‘m sorry‘ and stand back

Say ‘I‘m sorry‘ and stand back

Among the many admirable qualities in mankind, probably the most galvanizing is the willingness to say, “I was wrong .

Spontaneity and great art are not companions

Spontaneity and great art are not companions

Sorry to disappoint you, but the widely popular notion of art as being the result of a spur-of-the-moment inspiration, of a bulb lighting up, is one that is generally false .

You have to hand it to America

You have to hand it to America

Many of us in the Caribbean have it in for the USA – the interference in the affairs of other countries; the deadly machinations of their agencies such as the CIA and the FBI; their massively corrupt system of lobbying government running in the millions of dollars daily; their opiate problem – the list goes on – but there are times when you simply have to hand it to America .

Bright lights in the gloom

Bright lights in the gloom

Anyone with even basic awareness must be conscious of the many difficulties we face dealing with daily life in Guyana .

We’re kidding ourselves

We’re kidding ourselves

It is a part of human nature here and elsewhere that we sometimes deal with contentious issues by adopting a position of delusion, so as not to deal with the unpleasantly real factors involved .

Observations

Observations

I’ve said it before .

Rise and shine

Rise and shine

Many of us grew up in a Caribbean where the frequent message, ranging from gently implied to pungently expressed, was that we were a second-rate people .

 Sports idiocies

Sports idiocies

Sports on television and radio is part of modern life .

No place left to hide

No place left to hide

Nothing in history, not even the Industrial Revolution, has produced anything remotely like the staggering level of change that has descended on the world with the technological revolution now spinning faster and faster around mankind .

The Guyana Driving Manual 2012

The Guyana Driving Manual 2012

Newcomers to driving in Guyana, either born here or recently come here, are at some disadvantage with the material given to them by the Motor Vehicle Licence Office .



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