I tend to think visually (when I think at all) so when I read an article in Barbadostoday today titled (I suspect) somewhat sarcastically* “Blame Snakes” I couldn't help feeling as if I was watching a ridiculous trailer for an alarming tragicomedy called “The Irony Man!” (To be intoned the way a Caribbean person would use the word man in frustration e.g “Stop wasting time and get on with the article man!” and to mean “The made of, or full of irony” simultaneously).
No disrespect to Shawn Cumberbatch, the author of the article, this impression had to do neither with the writing nor the reporting of the piece, but rather the content. Apparently Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, tired of being admonished that one should not “waste a recession” felt the need to point out that it may be an even greater sin to waste a “period of economic buoyancy”, he went on to use the (rather well crafted) analogy of snakes and ladders which he accused the current opposition of playing with the economy while in power. The implicit (and explicit) message being that it was opposition's fault that we are in the predicament we are in today.
While I was reading this the movie of the events that typically unfold after utterances like this played out in my head and I chuckled so loudly that the guard in the library looked at me sternly and shook her head.
I wish I had the money to make the movie, but, I don’t! The best I can offer you at this juncture is what those in the film business call a “treatment”*1 of the movie THE IRONY MAN Please note that the characters in this script should be fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or in politics is simply unavoidably coincidental.
THE IRONY MAN (a script by Nala The $2 Philosopher)
Opening scene: The Prime Minister talks to reporters after a days’ discussion at the National Consultation on the Economy, he blames the last administration for the country’s current problems (all of them) he uses the analogy of Snakes and Ladders. He does not acknowledge the ridiculousness of doing this in his party’s second term in office.
Scene 2: A member/ members of the opposition call him on this. They draw attention to the fact that he is whining and blaming everybody for his administration’s failings, it is suggested that the problems are actually the PM’s fault and everybody knows this. (The irony of this appears to go unnoticed). The opposition points out that the Pm is pointing the finger of blame and not offering any real solutions to the problems at hand (completely failing to acknowledge or even notice that they are doing precisely the same thing).
The public will wonder nervously if our statesmen have run out of ideas we'll decided resignedly that we'll have to (lol) "wait and see".
Scene 3: Someone, maybe the PM, maybe not, points out that he did clearly outline what was needed to be done (which is not quite the same as offering solutions but it’s close enough… I guess). That same someone, may very well, point out that the opposition too is offering no solutions. Both sides will imply that they have workable solutions up their sleeves.
Scene 4: The word on the street (amongst the few who still give a fuck) depending on party leanings will be that the solutions must be held close to the chest as the other side will block/steal the ideas (again the irony of this will appear to go unnoticed).
Scene 5: The disillusioned, disengaged bulk of the public will continue with their daily fight to survive and will brace for the inevitable economic storm as the disconnected politicians continue to operate in an obsolete paradigm. The perpetual campaigning that passes for politics and governance will continue unabated.
Closing scene: John Public and Joan Public sit side by as their finances haemorrhage uncontrollably on the floor in front them. They complain about the PM’s “wait and see” approach to things.
“What can we do about it?” Joan asks frantically.
“All we can do is wait and see what happens!” Says John.
(The irony is missed… yet again!)
Nala (The $2 Philosopher)
*………If I learn that Shawn Cumberbatch was merely trying to be witty I’ll be disappointed
*1………This isn’t really a “treatment”.