Guyana, more and more, comes to resemble an Alice in Wonderland society. In this wild and woolly world, down is up, and up is down; it goes without saying that sideways knows no restraining limit. I am alternately perplexed, alarmed, and last amused by what transpires here. I would be even more entertained if the underlying issues were not so well, let it be faced, so far reaching.
In a land now scandalous for lack of values and standards, everyone (almost everyone) beholds no positives in recusals, or silence, or distance. The thing itself is incontestably damning, with respect to individual posture or involvement or commentary, and yet almost without fail the response is: so what? The situation is further compounded when that same thing already so problematic, and self-evidently so, is approached and addressed cavalierly and solemnly through pretended angelic innocence and resistant body language. In so doing, there is quick dismissal of any embedded nuances. The nuances of the very appearance of the thing, and the corresponding scents, sounds, and suspicions (all revealingly ugly and disturbing) are now either routinely ignored or suppressed. Nuances are not as prized as before. In a spiralling trajectory of self-denial and self-deception, there are no conflicts of interest at any level, or to any degree; there is no erring on the side of caution or principle or reputation; there is no taking the graceful way out (or one on the chin) on anything. There is always some flimsy self-protecting justification for staying the course. I find that that there is scant concern with decorum, minimum standards, or personal dignity. Some spurious argument is tendered to justify the irrational and the patently disingenuous.
Thus, on the one hand, there is the talk of cohesive visions, and then on the other giving a free, inexplicable pass where there is an instance of racial contempt. Surely, the two cannot be compatible, anywhere and by any reasonable yardstick. I am familiar with others being disciplined for less, way less; but that is in the real world. Still, the stir provoked by the whirring butterfly wings in that high sensitive elevation of all places, fuels the everyday tempests that hover and gather strength farther afield. How can it not? How can such be seen otherwise in this roiling place? Now who else is given licence to extend (or return) the favour? Right is wrong, and wrong is right. I need re-education.
Then, there are the self-incriminating well-known characters engaged in underground commercial enterprises, who profess public piety through lavish generosity to church finances. They deliver misery and seek blood in the badlands of Guyana; they also deliver cash and seek forgiveness in the highlands of god’s house. These without a moral compass now fake an inseparable association with scripture of every variety. As before, nobody sees anything wrong here; after all any one dollar is as good as the next one, and the more the merrier, no questions asked. It should be remembered also that houses of worship are not subject to anti-money laundering codes where cash is concerned. In a land severely compromised and lowered, I have heard or been near to every manner of pretences, cover-ups, and justifications. Enlightenment comes.
Next, and not surprisingly in this country, the largest, loudest, and busiest anti-corruption personalities and forces are those with a long history of the very dirtiness that they condemn so powerfully and unabashedly. I suppose that local standards and culture allow applauding and embracing of tricksters and reinvented gangsters. It is why there is so much affinity and admiration for Machiavelli and Mao, rather than Moses or Mithridates.
As if all of this is not enough, the civil society advocates have their political counterparts. Without a doubt, the political practitioners took the cake, the whole of it. Citizens were stripped of their own poor fare, crumbs included. Just look along the East Coast and there is the icing. These are the same folks who sold this country to certain business interests, from which it is proving difficult to extricate; sold GuySuCo down a river of red (and the people with it); and sold large segments of the populace a pig farm. It came in a bag. Today, the same pillagers and sellout artistes are the embodiment of concern and compassion for the people misled and ripped off; of reverential dedication for the plight of the lowly, who they hurried to this particular estate. In this country hypocrisy is authenticity; and deviltry representative of the godly. Some god that must be! Whichever side of the mouth that is spoken from (and there are many sides), it is always for the benefit of the political plutocracy.
In these few broad strokes, I have illustrated how backward and upside down is the Guyanese world. It is a universe proliferating with men and women resourceful and versatile in the fine arts of wiping their incriminating slates clean and starting fresh daily to perpetuate old and new perversities. In this realm, there are no conflicts, no cerebral uneasiness, no standing down. Many clever Guyanese line up from behind in a revolving door, but always seem to come out ahead of everyone else. I must learn that trick some day.