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​ Trinis Fall Apart

Turning and turning in the widening gyre/

The falcon cannot hear the falconer/

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world –

WB Yeats, The Second Coming

EVEN BY Trinidad’s day-to-day norms (which would amount to certifiable insanity anywhere else in the world), even in this very “special” place, where men pee at midday into the road, women carry their newborn babies to all-night Carnival fetes and motorists don’t hesitate before driving the wrong way down 500 metres of a one-way traffic system, the country went crazier than usual this week.

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Find a Party

YOU CAN tell you’re a Trinidadian in many ways but the most reliable indicator is that you arrive everywhere a day late and a dollar short – and it’s been that way ever since the people who used to tell us what to do left our shores, and left us high and dry. (It’s also true of most of our West Indian neighbours: from Jamaica to Guyana, we’ve destroyed any semblance of civilization we had.)

Now things were never rosy for almost all of us. The earliest inhabitants of these territories fared the worse, being actually killed off swiftly either by European diseases or the Europeans who brought the diseases here. In Dominica and Guyana you may find pureblood Amerindians but most of the people pretending to be Caribs in Trinidad could more legitimately claim to drink them.

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A Modest Hunting Proposal

In yet another transparent attempt to use the national patrimony to bribe a few extra voters towards the People’s Partnership With Only One Partner In It, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar this week announced the lifting of the ban on hunting, a move she hopes will turn the wild meat-men wild about the United National Congress. It’s another shameless fillip to the fickle, like when the UNC rushed Tobago self-rule legislation through Parliament in the hope of improving what turned out to be their rout in the Tobago House of Assembly elections.

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Look at My Crossbreeds

The Book of Kenrick Part XVII

In 2011, I was called by my Uncle Godfrey - God the Uncle - to sum up the Bible in the voice of Kenrick, the kind of tess who derides religion as superstitious bunk but fasts for Ramadan and gives up drinking for Lent every year “for the discipline”. I chose the King James as the most widely accepted version of the Word of God (even if it was actually agreed upon by British civil servants working for a probably homosexual monarch 1611 years after God first troubled Himself to speak, with all the divine inaccuracies those circumstances might imply).

These Kenrick columns are not an aspersion on the Bible but a celebration of our own voice, as any sinner worth his pillar of salt ought readily to discern. Last day, Jacob, son of Isaac, was looking for wife in Haran after he lost Isaac’s blessing to his brother, Esau. Jacob fell asleep on a stone and dreamt of a ladder to the heavens that Adrian Lyne later made into an unsettling, spookily atmospheric film starring Tim Robbins and Danny Aiello.

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