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.


This is the new one from PSY, ‘GENTELEMAN’

The point is not if it’s good but if it’s good enough to plaster PSY into the South Korean and  World Hall of Musical Fame. I think ‘GENTLEMAN’ is nearly as deep a song lyrically as ‘GANGAM STYLE’ and I hope the world will also find  the new PSY song as moving. For those who do not remember of tried to forget ‘GANGAM STYLE’ was the song that caused nearly everybody, especially North Koreans, to admit that the world is not as serious as it looks.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Raining Needles and Pins

Today was too good to pass up the opportunity to photograph the rain to help prove that it sometimes rains needles and pins. I used a tripod to hold the camera and a mango tree was positioned at the back of the rain. The photo was shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago using a Pentax K-7 fitted with a Pentax 50-200mm zoom lens at 1/80s and f6.3.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Rhine II – WTF!!

This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”

I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.

All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the  photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.


Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Introducing Miloš Karadaglić and the Classical Guitar

Milos Karadaglic

The intense buzz around the guitar world lately is that Montenegro-born Milos Karadaglic is the new guitar hero of the classical guitar world, replacing the late Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams, and Christopher Parkening to name just a few. Milos has bolted to prominence only months ago with his first album, Mediterráneo. With his youth, plus good and trendy looks, Milos has the potential to make the Classical Guitar a more popular instrument among young people, just as the violin is once again. Already the non-classical guitar groupies are somewhere between deep awe and envy of Milos. Milos is only 28 years old, has First Class Honours and a Masters degree from the Royal Academy and now a Meaker Junior Fellow – whatever that is. In theory, Milos should be a stuffed-shirt and a nerd but he comes across as anything but.

Vanessa Mae

Young people have always strived for cool in their music and cool was, and still mainly is with pop. It is very rare that a performer of classical music has even approached cool but Milos, just by the luck of looks and amazing talent due to passion and dedication, is coming across as a hip and super-talented character – Vanessa Mae was mildly popular with her renditions of popped-up pop and classical music on violin assisted by her short skirts and pretty legs.

The pop world is too crowded with transient and superficial talent and with the young mind being distracted easily, it is doubtful that something as intense and intellectual as the classical guitar will gain much of their attention for very long, Milos or not. I think if Milos ever releases an album of classic rock standards such as Stairway to Heaven, Bohemian Rhapsody and Hotel California, he will be even more popular in the real world but this will no doubt offend the classical one.

Miloš won two prestigious Gramophone awards on October 6th in London and he is being taken seriously by the classical music world.

Enhanced by Zemanta