Letters & Opinion

A Nation of Mediocrity

BY Kingsley Peter Charlmagne
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

AT the beginning of each year, we celebrate excellence when we honour our Nobel Laureates. The celebrations have moved from a week of activities to an entire month’s festival which leads right into Independence.

For those of us who have attended the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and are familiar with the school’s anthem, what great virtues are espoused in these verses.

“Aim high. Aim high, my fellowmen,” the anthem begins. “Our motto constant and upright: pursuit of excellence,” it ends.

Some claim to be proud Saint Lucians. One can only be a proud Saint Lucian if he or she embraces mediocrity. The Saint Lucia I grew up in is not the Saint Lucia now. Did I expect Saint Lucia to remain the same? Of course not. I expected, though, that we would have gotten better, not worse.

The Saint Lucia I grew up in was one where we appreciated the rewards of hard labour. It was the Saint Lucia where youngsters would not dare pass an elder without saying good morning or good afternoon. It was a nation where we looked out for each other’s benefit, where we helped each other, hence the tradition of koudmen. It was the Saint Lucia that when you went away to study, you were eager to return to contribute to its development.

Sadly, those days are no more. These days, we extol mediocrity. We no longer listen to the BBC as our standard for broadcasting. These days, I listen to radio and I am appalled at what passes for public broadcasting. The exchanges have no substance. Like Parliament, life in Saint Lucia has become one big circus.

Gone are the days of Black Pearl’s coca, “Si YoKaVolé’w”. We listened to this good doctor from Trinidad and now our soca music has become scanty and scandalous, a true reflection of panty and bra. Our carnival parade has lost its discipline, creativity, constructiveness and ‘instructiveness’.

Recently, I heard a personality over my radio welcoming our acceptance of Lucian kuduro. If ‘bad in bum bum’ is what we are ready to embrace, may the earth fart in our faces and may the stench never go away. May the universe ‘vacuum’ all our senses away.Dennery segment! Like, who? Say what? Where did that come from? Segment?

We don’t even desire anything wholesome anymore. We settle for scrape. Nothing genuine. Only a people with a kaka poul mentality would embrace something like this. A sensible people would get nauseated listening to such crap. This music also is a reflection of how we value our women and how they value themselves.

You could have told that that was where we were going. A black hole. I mean, with reason. How does Herb Black year after year come and sing some fantastic songs with wholesome themes and can only win a crown when he sings a song like, “Suzette”?

Saint Lucia is in the doldrums and everything is watered down. We have embraced a thug culture, especially among our men. A man is not a man in Saint Lucia if he isn’t rolling a spliff early in the morning and all through the day, if he isn’t blasting some loud music from his boom box or loud speakers in his hot ride, if he isn’t looking for the next girl to pass a hot one on. If Jimmy Henry is not lamenting in his ministry, believe me, I am in my misery.

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