Controversy about the changes that come to popular culture are somewhat amusing in that part of the commentary is the ingredient of surprise, even shock and outrage, as expressed in the frequent “what the hell is going on” reaction. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that cultures constantly change and in the furor in recent days about various behaviours in the new “Guyana carnival”, what we’re seeing is simply an expression of today’s culture – of what today’s market wants; that’s what the hell is going.
Mankind forgets its history very quickly, so that we seem to have not noticed that these conflicts between what was and what is, or is about to be, are constantly in play throughout our past. Furthermore the changes are not confined to the popular music or dance moves of the day; they are taking place across the board in everything from the clothes we wear, to the foods we eat, to our moral standards, even to the way we speak, the way we communicate, and even to the appliances of every-day life. In the middle of the carnival row, for example, I was struck by a coincidental series of posts on Facebook where persons were reminiscing on various products in the society, common in earlier times, but virtually extinct now. Among them was the hand-made wooden scrubbing board for washing clothes. An everyday item when I was growing up in Guyana, one would obviously have to explain to a teenager today what the hell is that weird piece of wood with grooves cut in it. Change, in fact, is a continuum in societies on earth; it is constant and pervasive…..