Sunday, April 7, 2013

MALAISE IN OUR LAND AND OUR LIVES - the Peter O'Connor commentary

There is a damp dark blanket of despair resting over us. And we are alternatively laughing at or cursing it. Better we keep laughing, because we are not going to frighten it away. 

Malaise is too deeply imbedded in every facet of our lives, so we now feed upon it. Our self-contempt makes us wallow in our ongoing failures, so we exist in the incongruous state of delusion that someone, somehow is going to bring us back to a sense of order, security and decency. But if you are not that person, who is?

And that really is what this despair is all about: The realization that there is no one in the political spectrum to whom we can turn to lift this country, and re-instill concepts of decency, discipline and honesty into society. I mean, when some are seeing Rowley, Ramesh and Roget as some sort of team that might save us, then we need to understand the levels of delusion sweeping over us.

Am I being too harsh, or too despondent? Only the deluded can say so. Look at us as a people: What, besides temporary bolts of lightning in the arts, creativity or sports, what enduring “good” have we sustained? 

From the physical—the collapse of our roads, drainage, mountainsides; our inability to provide ourselves with water although we suffer flooding every year; our government buildings—police stations, schools, offices-- are in disrepair and riddled with vermin, our national treasures of unique old buildings are collapsing before our eyes, including the Presidents House. 

And with all of this, and more, we harbour no embarrassment over this self inflicted and chronic neglect. Why should we? We can rant in parliament when we are in opposition, or on face book, but then go and lime or fete and mock our leaders whom we elected.

Degradation appears to be what we are about. Degradation on a physical level, social level and personal level is in almost everything we do. 

We cannot collect and dispose of our own garbage, and that tells me that we are pretty much on the lowest rung, socially. Our roadsides, beaches and rivers are filthy with our own garbage which we carry there and just leave there. And we harbor no shame at this ongoing travesty.

If you think our politicians and their “parties” are bad, or corrupt, or failing us, what do you intend to do about that—ever? And I mean “do something”, not rant in opposition as though you believed all of these travesties were new to this party governing, when you did all the same and worse when you sat there. 
And not waste your energy with acrid “one-liners” on face book or “smart-ass” comments in your party lime. 

Your acquiescence to impotence stems from your belief that you alone can do nothing? What about your institutions, then? To what do you belong where you can speak, and maybe inspire others to become a force? 

But join what? Our institutions, which are of us, not our politics, are also in a state of collapse. The Media Association of T&T, in these critical times where the media is bleating that they are under attack, failed to get a quorum at their recent AGM! Not to be outdone, the Law Association of T&T (already under a cloud for lack of accountability regarding their own monies) also had to abort their AGM for lack of a quorum. Dear Lord! This is really where allyou reach(sic)?

The business community, overflowing with available funding in the banks, and reaping profits which are the envy of every other economy, is asking the government for “stimulus”, and help to develop! What is this? Corporate URP? 

And I well remember when one of their own, Stephen Cadiz, organized a march against the murders. Of course, the then government, the PNM, who were sponsoring the murders, mocked the march. We expected that. 

But we thought that the “concerned business community” would have supported it? They did not, because they worried that if the government saw them marching, the government would pressure them, or withdraw favours! That happened, folks! You understand apathy and malaise?

I must warn us all, that these things are not going to get any better. The murders will not stop because we try to suppress them. The roads and bridges will not fix themselves. Water will not flow in your taps, police stations will not fix themselves. Garbage will still be spread by you on our beaches, noise will be made by you in our fetes, and business will prosper in spite of our malaise.

And that appears to be good enough for us, or, as Sparrow say: “We like it so”. So wallow in our collective misery, folks, or do something!

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai