Content to be where I am When 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 word I 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.