This can be a creepy place that tightens the gut and heaves the stomach. Sometimes I wonder how the few honourable and clean make it around here. A shudder follows.
I look and listen for some semblance of a vibrant national spirit, and the totality is a rush of the poisonous: “is dem da kine ah peeple!” It seeps, trickles, and spreads uncontrollably in the streets and thoroughfares and bureaucracies. This thick irremovable stain (and stench) colours the environment here and everywhere out there. Feeble principled resisters are bowled over and swept away in a tsunami of the tawdry; that rushing force comes to a premature stop right where it started, only to begin with new disciples all over again in endless expanding arcs. This is the 360 degrees of one circle (pick one) from Dante that is Guyana; it representative of so much that is the managed purgatory of this place, so much that is embedded and unchanging.
That is the marketplace of ideas that strangles a fettered populace into gurgling submission. Look in the churches, and it is the unuttered equivalent of: “is wha dem doin heah?” The structures of local apartheid are rigid, as they are invisible; no room for the wicked from the far side, only the sanctimonious ones already within. Here is the ecclesiastical deadwood greeting the dying that seeks a fragile lease on a different life. Call it spiritual euthanasia or 21st century religious human sacrifice, but the only place available in these sacred spaces is down or out. There is that Hobson’s choice. Truly the blind leads the blind in this wilderness dotted with the barren reaches of dogma and formula and very little else. On display is the crassness of cunning characters who parody Christianity and the other great faiths. God is a commodity; on display are these pageantries for the self-promoting and the sinisterly divisive.
This is the real Guyana beneath a silken veneer of respectability and empty uprightness, whether on the highways or alleyways; it is the crooked freeway of unfiltered minds, warped and wearying. The older models proudly exemplify the worst role models: mulish and malicious, and monstrously so. Probe for a hopeful rich vein below the skin, and there is only a spider’s web of diseased tendrils worming into and weakening the putrid flesh of a state wallowing in the abandonment of the true and the clean, and any related values and standards.
As an example, there is this place of some recent acquaintanceship, where easily greater than ninety percent of the bodies are on the move, on the make, and on the take. This is a microcosm and reflection of what is now settled Guyana; it is societal tabula rasa in neon lights. There is motive, agenda, and colluders committed to the merely contemptible at best, and the intuitively criminal at worst. It has been a quick casual ride from hard-earned twenty dollar bills long ago to the flash and stash of slick dirty five thousand dollar currency nowadays. The dirty stains are bloodstains. What was once condemned as disagreeable by many citizens is now commonplace, if not fashionably acceptable. No one seems to care; just gimme de dam money! The past is prologue to more prosperous things promised. This is the story on and on and in ever increasing frequency throughout the land, where there is an absence of a genuine proletariat, since more and more exhibit telltale profligacy while wrapped in the linen of the less that legal.
Here it is the hustle of self-empowerment, which means by any means. By any means is about reaching for and accumulating money of any kind, from any source, no matter how vile. Self-empowerment and self-perpetuation have introduced the spectacle of public groveling, even when such occurs below the sewer lines. This includes mercantilists, critics, and ecclesiastics to identify a small handful. I observe with wonder and distaste this human tidal wave that is Guyana. The occasional specks of flotsam and jetsam carried in the wake represent the few who somehow manage to stay untouched and keep noses clean. The problem is how to stay afloat and ride above the tide.
In the meantime, a huge number pines for 2020. They long for a return to the murky, the sleazy, and the slimy. It is what is known and loved. All those calculations will perish on the rocks of larger realities. Even as they wait hopefully, many citizens rightly speak of the abstractions and papyrus of various reforms; it is the pizzazz that accompanies self-discovery. Lost in the shuffle is the responsibility of ethical citizenship. It is the individual and collective responsibility to be law abiding in the very essence of endeavors. There is only sepulchral silence on that aspect in the hubbub. Like I said at the top, this is a creepy place with lots of malignant spirits around. Interesting times lived, no doubt.