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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Jack will be History in the Future


jack-goneOur local history textbooks of the very distant future will say how Jack Warner was a somewhat good man but misunderstood by tens of millions worldwide, including Andrew Jennings, Camini Marajh and a several investigators. Jack would be compared to Robin Hood even though he never shot an arrow or stole from any one person. He would be portrayed in some books as an urban legend, a mythical figure who the skeptical skeptics would say, despite photographs, political speeches and audit reports, never existed. Such kindness and cunning could never lie in the heart of the same man, they would say. The books will present scores of photos showing Jack handing over cheque after cheque to delighted people who worshiped him as a God with money.

History will say he was a man known for his willingness to build box drains for the poor and downtrodden. The books will acknowledge that despite his many flaws and law suits, he would eternally be known for his ability to listen to the problems of the frustrated on a weekly basis and act appropriately, unlike the other Members of Parliament who rose to legendary dignitary status after winning an election. Jack Warner will be known as a man who did some right but no wrong locally.

Like all urban legends, Jack will linger on minds of both the mindful and mindless. His parting would be seen to be an aborted reentry by his friends and backstabbers alike since the Prime Minister could no longer fake ignorance of one man’s deeds twice in one term.

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Douglas Adams on those Elected People


Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

~Douglas Adams~

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Krishna Bhatt – The Underclass Lover


Krishna Bhatt's The Underclass Lover

Krishna Bhatt, who I only know briefly through email – I assume it is Krishna Bhatt the author who emailed – asked me to say a few words about his book, The Underclass Lover, and I am happy to do so.

The Underclass Lover is a collection of short stories and I started the first story, The Underclass Lover, late last night. I have to admit it is a very well written story and an interesting one. All the stories are based on the complex social and political developments taking place in the contemporary Nepal. I had to check the meaning of the word underclass since I wasn’t sure my  intuitive understanding was the correct one.  It seems I was mainly correct and if you are in doubt Wikipedia has a good definition here.

The Underclass Lover is 180 pages long and published or self-published by WingSpan Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is available in both paperback and Kindle from Amazon but it is strangely not available for Barnes and Noble’s eBook reader, Nook.

Synopsis:

These stories unravel the complex social and political developments taking place in the contemporary Nepal, which is trying to come to terms with the violent Maoist war that continued for more than a decade, which a tenuous ceasefire arrangement has put on hold presently; and the carnage that eliminated the whole family of a ruling King. The characters often struggle to live with the dual psychology of the people and their own ambiguity – rendering most of the situations and contents of their life farcical. This book complements the previous successful debut book of Krishna Bhatt: City women and the Ghost Writer.

Here is a brief excerpt from The Under Class Lover:

Pasang also knew that one of his customers was actually
a mistress and not a tenant of the landlord of the house she
was living in, who also was an actress and acted in television
dramas, in very small roles. Since the landlord’s wife had
caught a very debilitating disease, she was not able to fulfill
the demands of her well-built husband, who exercised
everyday and looked half her age. So there was the young
actress in their lives, living in the ground floor of the house
without paying any rent. The actress did not become a wife of
the landlord, though she was living in that house for almost a
decade now. In fact, his wife has cleverly warned the landlord
not to marry the actress as it will invite a property dispute
among them and he too may end up losing some of it.
The actress, being a migrant into the city, at least had…

Hindu temples in Patan, capital of one of the three medieval Newar kingdoms - Wikipedia

Map of Nepal - Wikipedia

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Stephen King’s Fans Revolt


Full Dark, No Stars has some fans outraged

Stephen King‘s new book, Full Dark, No Stars is generating a major controversy and it has nothing to do with the author but with the publisher’s attitude to book buyers. The publisher, it seems, has decided to price the Kindle version of the book higher than the hardcover version. This pricing strategy is unbelievable as it defies logic unless the logic is to force people to help deforest the planet at a faster rate. I think Amazon reluctantly went with the stupid pricing policy for King’s latest book as it will no doubt tarnish Amazon’s reputation as the king of the best price.

Kindle Price is higher than the hardcover price - why?

I bought the hardcover version of Full Dark, No Stars at $14.90 which is a very reasonable price for a newly released Stephen King hardcover. Some are saying that price is too heavily discounted for a hardcover and the Kindle price is more like what the price of the hardcover should be. What ever the truth is, a Kindle price should always be lower than the hardcover price because that is what Kindle buyers have come to expect and enjoy

one-star reviews as a form of protest

Fans are protesting bitterly and nearly half of the reviewers of Full Dark, No Stars on Amazon have given the book a one-star review in protest of the price since there is no way to give a no-star review. It is unfortunate that fans had little choice in the matter though the book is easily one of King’s best in years. I hope Stephen King will use his enormous influence and banish the pricing culprits responsible for this fiasco  to eternal hell.

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The Soloist – A True Story


soloistposterThe Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. is based on a remarkable and true story about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musician who was considered one of the most talented students to  attend the Julliard School of Music and who became schizophrenic.  At age twenty-one Ayres was attending Julliard School of Music when he suffered what appeared to be a nervous breakdown and ended up institutionalized and then homeless.

In the movie Robert Downey Jr. plays the role of Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times who discovers and writes about Nathaniel Ayers for the LA Times. The Soloist moved from true story, to newspaper column, to book, to hopefully, a great movie. It’s a movie about mental illness, friendship and compassion. I predict The Soloist will be a touching and inspirational movie to all who need a less explosive life around April 24th, 2009, the new scheduled opening date.

Click here to see a video of the real Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and the real Steve Lopez