The New Carnival Mentality


Trinidad CarnivalFor too long the term Carnival Mentality was used in a very derogatory manner to describe the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. When someone is described as possessing a Carnival Mentality it means that person is lazy, carefree, unproductive, promiscuous and prone to smiling too much while having the ability to enjoy oneself in the most genuine of ways. It meant the person or country with this mentality can achieve nothing meaningful in life even though they showed true signs of real happiness. I might have agreed with this statement several years ago but I can’t anymore.

Trinidad and Tobago is now a world Carnival powerhouse and to do so requires the country to be productive all year as such an event can not be created in a couple months. Carnival involves so many people from nearly all sectors effectively planning and producing in now what seems like second nature to the country.

The organizational abilities to pull off one small all-inclusive fete are tremendous much less the big ones like Beach House, Brian Lara, Moka and UWI. The Carnival big bands like Bliss, Fantasy, Harts, Island People and Yuma are now million dollar companies operating throughout the year and survive and grow using prudent and innovative business skills and not laziness as previously advertised.

The musical talent which Carnival produces is nothing short of mind boggling and I wonder if it was not for Carnival would there be so much young people taking pan, guitar, keyboard and violin lessons in Trinidad and Tobago? Machel Montano and Machel Monday is now a worldwide phenomenon which not only shows off musical talent but professionalism both on stage and behind the scenes. This is not a one man show but it involves hundreds working in sync towards the goal of perfection and a properly working sound system. This concert is nothing short of exceptional in terms of planning, organizing and enjoyment.

The Carnival Mentality has now given rise to the growth of the fitness and health obsessed in Trinidad and Tobago. These individuals are increasing in numbers yearly. The obsessed and not so obsessed now frequent gyms and reduce bar visits and hence drunkenness simply to look dynamite in a carnival costume. Sadly, this does give rise to highly egoistic people with a craving for tight clothes and loose eyes.

Carnival also drives the detractors to buying more books and it has produced a few book worms who are hopefully more beneficial to society than the scantily clad but the world needs the scanty just as much for it gives life purpose. The bookworms and noise-phobic make every effort to avoid the hedonist who revel and ogle at the revelers. It is only because of this Carnival Mentality they can now boast about their sense of moral superiority. You always need the bad to make the good look and feel better.

Without Carnival and the new Mentality it produces we would be just be another island in the sun selling rabid boredom to the rabidly boring.

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Healdine Abuse, Sorry to Say


Trinidad Express

Trinidad Express

With all that is going on the political arena in Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Express took the time to use its precious mind-swaying front-page to highlight a suspected personality flaw in the country’s top, home-grown, international Soca superstar, Machel Montano. Maybe it was because his alleged bad attitude took place at a town school fete is the reason it was given grossly exaggerated importance or some other ulterior or political motive – I don’t know.  I doubt the newspaper is being paid off by some Big Men with shares and money to distract the public from the real issues that are, and have always been plaguing the nation for some time – greed, dishonesty and wife-beating abilities of our elected and selected politicians. Maybe the newspaper is trying to tell the public that the thing we saw around the dark clouds was not a silver lining but the main ingredient in an orange juice shipment.

When I read the headline article I was sadly disappointed and enraged that the sound system was not up to professional standards. Also, that the reaction by the superstar, which seems to be a rejection of sloppiness, should now engage and enrage the normally weak minds of editors, journalists and other rum-oriented citizens via the front-page is unfortunate and even tragic. That Mr. Montano might be throwing temper tantrums all over the place for some very good reasons and a couple bad ones is not new, news or close to headline news. However, the discovery of a decomposing body which might be that of the missing Caribbean Airlines director is depressing and frightful thus should be fitting as a the main headline and a lifesaver given the need to alert unsuspecting visitors merrily flocking our shores for Carnival.

We are a country whose minds are shaped by our manipulative headlines and the chronic ignorance and bias of participants of talk shows rather than our ability to analyze anything beyond the superficial and emotional surface. If citizens of the land of the Humming Bird, corbeau and rotting corpses could see beyond their biases, hate and fear we would not have elected Team Manning and certainly not even give birth to, much less voted for Team Kamla and her band of smart men and thieves.