Subscribe to Thank God It’s Friday
Scroll down to search or read more
Weight, Andrea,Weight (Songs in the Key of Death)
THIS TRINIDAD, these dis-United States; eventually, one of them will kill me, figuratively, the other, perhaps literally. Fat Abu Bakr on impeachment trial again in Washington and, in Port of Spain, another family’s daughter slaughtered.
And David Byrne & the Talking Heads swim into my head, for one hundred thousand times in my lifetime, the groundbreaking video accompanying the foot-stomping song. “Letting the days go by/ Let the water hold me down/ Letting the days go by/ Water flowing underground/.”
Trinis, for once in a lifetime without their Carnival, but never short of bacchanal, chattering empty-heads lip-syncing the words of the Talking Heads song they never heard, all in the name of Andrea: “And you may ask yourself/ WELL, HOW DID I GET HERE?”
Sing the chorus, Sean Luke: letting the days go by.
Let the water hold you down.
The line sends a shiver down the spine with this same old murder of someone new’s child.
The refrain is no different.
Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was.
Knowing exactly on which pivot the world turns this week, why not go there and mock Trump. Why gratuitously take on the Trini reality, so far from the Trini fantasy: all o’ we is one family bucket of KFC.
Eat ah food.
I’ve had meals of celebration, Christmas lunch or post-workshop supper, with five people who have been murdered ah-we, by us: brother & sister Henry & Candace Carrington, the children of “Uncle Harry”, the first doctor I ever went to, defying the odds, killed by different people six months apart; gentleman lawyer Michael Jobity, sliced to pieces in his own bed; philanthropist John Cropper, so full of the milk of human kindness he should have drowned in it, found in a pool of his own blood. And Richard Wheeler, solicitor, who abandoned Britain and adopted Trinidad as his own, his native land, and discovered he’d truly arrived here when he was dispatched in Tobago, the seventh of eight older people, I think, murdered in their own homes in Tobago. Claire Broadbridge, from the neighbourhood I grew up in, joined them, killed in her living room, apparently at, or for, criminal convenience.
Trinidadians specialise in convenience, especially in social protest. Ask them to wear something red, drive with headlights on in daylight, walk around the Savannah they were already going to walk around anyway. They would buy doubles to support the Bail Bill, if they were allowed to and it’s only a matter of time before someone throws a fete called Jump Up for Justice.
Wait, Dorothy, Wait, look Stuart Young by the gate.
Trinis fas’ with they-self, quick to bu’n any and everybody.
But don’t bring no flambeau near them!
There isn’t a Trinidadian who can’t talk himself out of whatever crucial action is needed at whichever critical point. The Death March was “a white people thing”.
And Trinidadians want everyone to change.
At Panorama or Blood Bank Fete, Trinis have to get their comps. But, when it comes to standing on principle, Trinis take a knee. The Minister of National Security could wash his hands of crime, the Commissioner of Police could complain about the lawlessness whenever police kill cockroaches, also called bandits. Sufferers burn tyres in the road when police kill a good boy but no one ever sees bandits put the gun against a head in broad daylight.
Trinidadians want the flooding to stop – but they must plant peas on a mountainside or bench it for a garage for their Porsche. They want the traffic jams to end – but they must drive their own car. They want bobol to stop – but state contracts must come to them.
And when someone young and innocent is so cruelly taken, Trinis draw a firetrucking line in the sand!
Make a Facebook video. Cry. Rage. Cuss.
Somebody must do something now!
Trinis whisper for a national day of prayer or shout for a national night of long knives. Hang them! Firetruck the gallows, bring the guillotine, put they head on a spike on the prison wall!
Stop murder by murdering the murderers.
This is not a fete in here.
Better to wheel and firetruck up Donald Trump, yes.
Because Trinis don’t want to hear that there is no “them” who can fix traffic jam or child murder.
There is only us.
If we want the cavalry to ride in to save us in the last reel, trumpets blowing, tan-ta-ran-ta-ran-ta-ran-ta-ra, well, we better start looking for some horses and a patch of grass.
And wait, Andrea, wait.
BC Pires is letting the days go by for the heartbroken Bharatt family