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Showing posts from 2010

OPINION: The Deafening Silence of the Lambs

Full disclosure: this may be viewed as somewhat self-serving. It may well be.

I feel I have some idea of what it must feel like to be Andrew Mason. A lot of people like him for what he does and a helluva lot of people hate him for it. A lot more people don't like what he does and plenty more people hate him for it. I, too, will admit to having inhabited all of the above camps over the years, going back to 1983 when as a gangly youngster I would record his CBC Player of the Day programmes on Saturday afternoons at CBC Radio.

Andrew can be as acerbic as he can be saccharine, witty as well as woefully cliché-ridden, energetic and enervating all at once. I have lived to hear him wish for the day when an elite panel of expert regional cricket commentators would be created, then hear him criticise the very idea of a panel when CANARadio (later CMC) created CricketPlus, which I produced from its inception until 2001. He was on that panel, too. The word 'mercurial' is for thermome…

A Nation's Death by Fire

By Julius Gittens

Derek Walcott's poem, "A city's death by fire", is a poignant and memorable recollection of the Great Fire of 1948 in Central Castries that razed three-quarters of the town. It left 2,000 people homeless, many of them with nothing left but the clothes on their backs.

Accounts from newspapers of the time speak of the gutting of much of St Lucia's history dating back to Amerindian settlement - the destruction of government offices, including the Education Department to the public library, said to contain one of the best reference sections in the West Indies, to private collections of Carib artefacts and papers since settlement.

Walcott, a gangly 18-yea-old on the cusp of literary greatness after meeting the great Frank Collymore that very year, was a stunned witness who all day "walked abroad among the rubbled tales, shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar". His chronicle by candlelight of Castries's death by fire &…

Lead your people, PM: level with them

This is tough to write because a sick man is a sick man, whoever he is. We have been trained by our parents not to kick a man when he is down. We do not make light of illness. We are told not to disregard the impact of illness on a man or woman and their family.

So, this is tough to write, also because in following age-old manners, I might be seen to be breaking another tradition.

That tradition is to go away and curl up in a corner, away from public attention, when we are ill - that your illness is nobody's business but your own. It is a tradition rooted in some hypocrisy; witness the enormous traffic at visiting hours in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, by families, friends, acquaintances, fellow churchgoers, work mates, play mates, even the odd enemy. Serious illness tends to bring out the best in our humanity. I've witnessed, and participated in, the laying on of hands, the soulful touch, the kind and steady eye contact, the soft word, the cheerful smile, the disarming chuckl…

COMMENT: Blogging in Barbados, or Making It Up As You Go Along

When Samuel Morse perfected the electric telegraph in 1844, he sent a message using his brand new code of dots and dashes: "What God Hath Wrought". So began the whirlwind of modern telecommunications that has swept continent and island so remorselessly ever since.

Too often in these heady days of technological change and complexity I am left staggering with the same plaintive cry, "what God hath wrought". I am not in awe but in woe.

I cannot know precisely what Morse's motives were in sending those words. He did not attach a footnote. We can surmise somewhat safely that it was the humble oblation of a God-fearing man to his original inventor, the Man Upstairs.

I do wonder, though, if Morse, finger ready at the single key, became at once struck by the likely implications and impact of his machines and the wires that connected them. Just maybe, he peered into the crystal ball and saw an abyss - more messages to stir up a phony war than those to catch a murderer?…

Caribbbean Earthquake Education Portal - but who's watching?

A comprehensive public education programme was produced for the Caribbean on earthquakes, and unveiled two months before the horrific 2010 Haiti earthquake. But the Caribbean media wanted to get paid to run the public service announcements and educational programmes - a mix of music videos, animation and tips for everyone from policymakers to media to general public. So check for yourself at www.weready.org.

The message: Drop, Cover and Hold On.