Ian on Sunday Why this glaring discrepancy between prowess in the short versions and generally abject failure in Test cricket?
Meteors How is a great poem created? It is a mystery. It is like asking for an explanation of an exquisite square cut by Brian Lara or the flourish of a Rohan Kanhai cover drive, which I will never forget as long as I live.
Ian On Sunday Education is important not simply for the implantation of specific information about specific subjects but, perhaps more importantly, for the passing on of a whole ‘culture’ of learning, attitudes, and behaviour – a variety of distinct ‘languages’ of understanding including self-understanding.
Inconsolable loss Of all the expressions of inconsolable loss I have read concerning the death of anyone greatly loved, the following lament by Henry James, the novelist, when his older brother, William James, the scientist and philosopher, died is one of the most heartfelt: “I sit heavily stricken and in darkness – for from far aback in dimmest childhood he had been my Elder Brother; and I still, through all the years, saw in him, even as a small timorous boy yet, my protector, my backer, my authority and my pride.
Ian on Sunday Experience comes to us not just through our lives but as much, perhaps more as we grow old, through reading.
Ian on Sunday Why should flesh and blood men and women, with feet of clay like anyone else, presume to think for us and act for us and push us around and mollycoddle us and punish and reward us as if they were inherently superior beings?
‘No ill or wrong will overmaster this’ There are some things that keep out the darkness that continually threatens in anyone’s life.
The addiction of competition And here is fascinating thought. Medical studies suggest that in situations of great stress, great danger, in a battle, for instance, with death a fraction away, the body is able to generate something akin to heroin.
A blessingPerhaps my oldest memory, I must have been two or three, is of my mother hugging me at night when she put me into bed and holding the palms of my hands together while she said a simple prayer which I soon learned by heart.
Ian on Sunday Running anything – whether it is a national government, vast state industry, world-circling multi-national, small family business, or private club – involves making choices.
The view from seventy-six With shocking quickness, another year has gone by in a blur and I am suddenly seventy-six.
Fulsome words, faltering deeds One of the most serious aspects of life today is the widening gap between talk and action.
It is all a dreamMy father died nearly fourteen years ago at the age of 89.
Too many of my good friends are overwhelmed with work which prevents them living more peaceful, varied, interesting and fulfilled lives.
Ian on Sunday When you go well past three score years and ten you are in overtime and a penalty shoot-out looms which you know you cannot win.
Ian on Sunday In Guyana education some time ago deteriorated to the point where parents had little confidence that the formal system would or could produce results.
Faithful to the causeI venture to suggest that there is no West Indian cause so sacred as the success of the West Indies cricket team.
The overmighty centre Any practical person in charge of anything periodically asks the question: ‘How do we get things done most effectively?’ In asking such a question what is not required is a theoretical discussion about which model of organization, say socialist or capitalist, is better or whether private enterprise can do a better job than public administration.
The world is bankrupt. The Great Regulator in the Sky for some good reason has put His people everywhere into receivership and the impact will be more devastating and more universal than the Flood.
Leaders and language: There is a close correlation between the inspiring use of language and getting great deeds done.
Anxiety grows in meLet me make another trawl in the deep sea of reading which lies all around us and see what bright catch comes up.
Personal performance is the key Guyana is in a period of gloom, who can doubt it.
The love of reading lasts foreverThe year 2008 slipped by with devastating swiftness and already another year is well advanced.
What the earth swallows is soon forgotten The Stabroek News feature ‘History This Week’ is providing readers with a most valuable series of vignettes from Guyana’s past.
We are lost without the right peopleOne man is running a company with the help of three old family retainers, two others who haven’t had a new idea in a couple of generations, and a whole raft of school drop-outs.
‘Open the clenched fist of the past’ It happens all the time in small, closely-knit groups – cabinets, party executives, boards of directors, church congregations or club committees.
Enhance your life It is extremely important that you pay attention to what today’s column says if you wish to live a longer, healthier, more alert and happier life.
Content to be where I amWhen I was a child I had as good Christmases as any child ever had – the love of parents which anchored life, the tree with the star and the gleam of lights, the gifts in white pillow-cases found mysteriously early morning, the fat balloons flying and the decorated crèche, the spread of food and sweets and aromatic cake and even sips of wine allowed, the fragrances of Christmas, the hugs of old grands and aunts and tobaccoey uncles, the carols and immortal songs of Christmas, the sights and sounds of happiness.
National accounting and real life Governments everywhere, quite naturally, make every effort to portray the state of the nation in the best possible light.
Devil-take-the-hindmost People tell me that an article I wrote some time ago continues to “circulate widely on the internet.” I have no real idea exactly what this implies.
The irrelevance of sport? A couple of weeks ago I explained in a column what an important part sport has played, and very much continues to play, in my life.
The vindication of Hypatia Currently its most venerable member, I am delighted to learn that the Georgetown Club has at last burst gloriously into, let us say, the 20th century and admitted women as full members.
Teaching beyond the ordinary run of our lives When we are young, if we are lucky, we meet a person who opens our minds to the infinite possibilities of life in this wondrous world.
The quiet sport Not many people guess right when asked “What is the most popular sport in the world?” The irony is that, more than any other people in the West Indies, Guyanese are in a position to say what is the most popular of all sports simply because Guyana provides a better environment for it than any other Caribbean country.
The complex value of the wordI love poetry. It is the quiet passion of my life.
Home is a lovely place In Canada it is just getting cool and the trees are filling with greenish gold and a darkening red as the beautiful season of fall begins to decorate the landscape.
Greed brings down a nation In the 1987 film “Wall Street”, ruthless stock trader Gordon Gecko, played by Michael Douglas, famously declared “Greed is Good.” It summed up the credo of America – and, following America, most of the rest of the world – for the next two decades.
Victory at all costs? An old sporting argument – good for many lovely hours of intense discussion and fervent discussion – surfaces every now and then.
A bigger threat than terror We have to look forward to a long and terrible age of increasing and fearsome devastation.
The whole point is not to talk or think I avoid as far as I can any party, club, reception or event when or where rap music is likely to be predominant.
Unsung heroes In the last month I have enjoyed watching the Olympics from majestic opening to colourful and tumultuous closing and between those spectacular bookends have seen an endless display of compelling competitive excellence.
A festival Caricom badly needed Carifesta X was a splendid and significant success.
Illth Absurdly, we still take for granted that Gross Domestic Product is an accurate measure of success and well-being in a nation, so that if GDP is increasing we think we must be doing better.
Put poetry on the buses I favour the reintroduction of public transportation. A system of maxi-buses on the roads, well-managed and subsidized with some of the VAT bonanza, would be a great boon for hard-working Guyanese hustled and harried in getting around.
Will any record ever go unbroken? It seems impossible that Michael Phelps’s record of winning fourteen Olympic gold medals, with more to come in London in 2012 when he will only be 27, will ever be broken.
In an article reviewing Kasia Boddy’s book Boxing: A Cultural History the American writer Joyce Carol Oates quotes from that dark, unsettling philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “Every talent must unfold itself in fighting.” Nietzsche thought, contrary to prevailing morality, that it was perfectly natural to fight, even to fight to the death, in the service of allowing “hatred to flow forth fully.” Look around the world, Nietzsche’s disturbed and disturbing observation seems frighteningly accurate.
An Olympic memory I am the ultimate sports junkie. If games were abolished by some satanic world dictator I would be almost as lost as if he banned all books.