Letters & Opinion

Of Dis and Dat – Part 15

Image of Nahdjla Bailey
By Nahdjla Bailey

LET me begin by apologising to those readers who reported that they had great difficulty reading ‘Of Dis and Dat’ last Saturday because of the lightness of the print. I suffered a similar fate with my copy of the newspaper. Not too sure what happened there.

Moving on, I think you know by now that I am rather impressed with the work of the CCC under the current Mayor, and that I was equally impressed with the TALK programme on which he appeared. Something was hinted at in that programme about the possibility of his moving on to another, maybe higher, role following the famous audit. I would urge whoever has the power to effect such a change, to ensure that they bear in mind the well-known Peter Principle, ignorance of which in most cases causes major (organizational) problems. What is the Peter Principle? It is a psychological construct which explains what happens when successful members of a hierarchical organization are promoted to, or are functioning at, their highest level of incompetence, having been bumped up (usually as a reward) from functioning at their highest level of competence.

Back to “St Lucia’s biggest cultural event” for a bit, and one alarmed French visitor who, in conversation with me this week, described a lot of what she’d witnessed on the streets of Castries during the Carnival as nothing less than “pornographic.” Now you, readers, may be surprised to know that while filling her in on all the unfavourable (I euphemise) stuff which I have been writing on the subject for years, I yet begged to differ with her particular choice of lexicon. Pornographic it is certainly not, I said, for if the express purpose of pornography, by definition, is to induce sexual arousal in its viewers, then I reckon the vile, vulgar public displays in their utter ugliness on our city streets are rather designed, albeit unwittingly, to turn decent, thinking viewers on to instant monasticism and a gelded existence for the rest of their lives.

However, still on Carnival, but on a brighter note, I had heard, en passant, talk of the band, Tribe of what I thought was Twelve (something about the Apostles, perhaps? I reckoned) but later discovered was ‘Tribe of Twel’, when someone from abroad, no less, sent me a video of the band on parade. They knew that I had not viewed the Carnival parade in years and thought I would be pleased to see that band’s portrayal. And I surely was. Didn’t know there had been anything like that on the road and was curious as to how it was received by the public. Asked a few folks who could not tell me. I am hoping, positively.

For, let’s face it, it had to have been such a welcome change for most people, and I congratulate the organisers and revellers who chose to be associated with this band with its Shakespearian theme and costumes, for elevating the Carnival. And really, it had little or nothing to do with Shakespeare per se, for any theme has the power to inspire a pleasing and ennobling portrayal in the hands of the right people. Keep it up for the sake of the children of Saint Lucia, indeed, for the future of Saint Lucia, and if nothing else, to give revellers the gift of a clear choice and an opportunity to be elevated. Let your influence on the future of the Carnival scene take hold and your appearances be held up as the acme of portrayal. May the panties and bras, the boobs and backsides eventually return to their rightful place – out of sight – and may Saint Lucia’s Carnival bloom again.

I think it would be most revealing to do a survey across ages, classes, and education levels to get the public’s views on this very question. My prediction is that the majority of our people would easily eschew the hideousness.

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