YES, I know the rot is all over the place, the nastiness prevails at all the popular fêtes and shows, the beach bacchanals etc., etc., but dear readers, the BIG difference is that the official Carnival parade is a public one into which your taxes go, while the others are private affairs where one decides that they love the sort of stuff offered, enough to pay good money to go and indulge themselves there. It’s your business if that’s what your life’s about and you must have your fix there. Or not! Of course, when the media decide they need to share every last vulgar crack of the animalistic hedonism on their channels, and during the news to boot, that’s different again and they should know that they offend a good section of their viewers.
But your freedoms are not affected in quite the same manner as when the streets of your city are invaded and infected by organisms who so clearly conduct themselves in indecent ways and impinge on your freedom to go out in public with your kids and not have your eyesight and sensibilities assailed by offensive sights along the main thoroughfares of the capital city over a two-day period. You simply aren’t able to protect your children from what goes on there.
It’s not too late to get serious about reversing the escalating trend. If it takes employing the carrot and stick, why not? If those who are in a position to raise the bar in their various ways, do all they must to put the appropriate means and methods in place to achieve their objectives, it could happen. So, who are these influential persons who could make a difference if they were to act simultaneously and as one, to commence the clean-up?
Without giving too much detail, for want of space, and also to leave room for you to get your imaginations going, here are some of the measures which might easily be put in place, predictable opposition from the offenders and their ilk notwithstanding.
Soon after this year’s spectacle and post mortem sessions, the Events Company (which, by the way, is such a good idea as long as it knows its role and uses it for the good of the country) along with reps from the different Carnival stakeholder groups should come out and express public disapproval of the uncivilized conduct and lack of morality displayed during the Carnival parades and also announce that steps will have to be taken to curtail the rapid decline in standards and restore some semblance of civility and morality to the event.
Then waste no time in starting an effective public education programme with PSAs as well as educational visits to schools at all levels of the system; sponsors must let revellers know that they will withhold future sponsorship of any group not adhering to acceptable standards of decency (there must be specificity as to what is acceptable and what is not); judges will deduct a significant number of marks for filthy behaviour observed by appointed scouts at any point along the route; those who dish out the prize money, including and especially the Government who bankrolls the event, should reduce the amount of money that’s up for grabs unless and until the offending participants clean up their act (nothing quite like the moolah to motivate people, or the lack of it to be a strong punitive device); band leaders should be very strict about barring known offenders from even joining their bands and expelling anyone responsible for robbing the band of points; the media must start to black out the exposure they give to offenders and surrender the obvious delight they appear to take in publicising them so that the disgrace is not compounded many times over and continuously in the public’s face; decent band participants must totally object to having those offensive types in their bands jumping next to them; the organisers and leaders of the Junior Carnival have a huge role to play in ensuring that the young ones under their care do not fall prey to the same kind of behaviour as their ugly elders; so zero tolerance should be in force; the instilling of pride in being superior to the older ones should be a good motivator. And what about the police? Do they have a role to play? Are they aware of the public decency and morality laws of this country? Those do exist, don’t they? And you never know what they say. Who knows? They could be quite helpful to the cause.
More on this subject next week.