It’s kind of appropriate when you think about though, the way things are going… everybody feeling it!
“Gawbleng Bim boy! I never thought I would live to see it so… yuh ras-hole!" I just had to throw that in there…because "RAS-HOLE!" is our national word!
Gawbleng Bim… Yuh ras-hole!
Things are hard everybody’s complaining… but it’s November, independence month so for this month at least we put aside our woes and complaints to celebrate things national, everybody’s playing “you know you’s a Bajan when…” everybody’s talking about konkies, the radio stations playing local music that you never hear in the other eleven months of the year. It’s ridiculous! It seems as if national pride is a once a year event. But anyhow Independence is November 30th just around the corner. You know what that means right? Everybody and their grandmother in Barbados, is in a frenzy getting ready… for fucking christmas!
Not that I have a problem with christmas, I love christmas… well, not in the traditional sense of the word love… in the traditional sense, it would be more accurate to say I detest christmas! This is not to offend the good Christian folk celebrating the birth of their lord. I’ll offend them another time I’m not talking about them now. People’s quiet religious beliefs and rituals are not (really) my concern.
But those irritating, gaudy catalogues that start coming in the papers from the end of August! Selling all kinds of overpriced imported garbage… now on sale! And the tacky tinselly decorations, and the blinking lights and the culturally irrelevant music about sleighs and snow and pissy little elves who fuck around for 360 days of the year and a big fat white Anglo Saxon protestant imperialist paedophile dressed in red and white… I hate that shit!
You may notice that I write “christmas” with a common “c” again that is not to offend (The offence is a happy side effect) it is because there is already too much capitalism in christmas!
And it’s everywhere! Christmas is… like loud fucking obnoxious drunk, shouting and cursing, essentially drawing attention to himself.
You have to know that he’s there! You have to know that christmas is happening!
Not like independence, independence is more the quiet drunk, you know? The guy who would quietly nurse a pint and half in the back until he passes out. And nobody notices him until it’s time to lock up and you see him in the back, on the floor, sprawled out… dead as ras-hole!
Christmas trumps independence every year. If you’re not really into it, independence could come and go and you wouldn't even notice it except for the parade (maybe). Especially this year you know? Things are so fucking dread this year most people aren't really even feeling independent.
Everybody feeling christmas though! Every fucking year Independence has to share November with christmas and then christmas gets the whole of December to itself. Nobody finds it ironic that in the midst of being regaled with notions of national identity, and pride in who we are, that across the island people are spray painting snow onto their show windows? How’s that for self-identity and pride in who you are? I suppose that’s what I love about christmas, the moronic irony.
This independence it feels like we can celebrate the fact that everything is falling apart. Everything seems to be happening to Barbados all at once! It’s like Mr and Mrs shitty luck and all the little shittys decided to come to Barbados on holiday and decided “Fuck it! Let’s live here.” We’re faced with a plethora of (counterproductive) taxes, massive lay-offs, the fantasy of free education has come to an abrupt (albeit inevitable) end, we've been downgraded to junk bonds, chikungunya is bursting our arses, and LIME is taking over FLOW.
Barbados is on the verge of economic collapse, this is a crisis if ever there was one. Unfortunately a crisis calls for someone to take the initiative, it calls for quick decisive but thoughtful leadership, and the current captain of the ship can hardly be described as Mr Proactive. It almost seems as if this man’s default reaction to a crisis situation is “Everybody quick! Don’t do anything! Let’s see if this will actually kill us!”
What I find funniest about the situation is that almost everybody is complaining about Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and his government and their wait and see attitude, we complain that they are frightened to act, that when the do it is poorly thought out and ineffectual, that they NEED to do something before the situation inevitably gets worse; we’re complaining as if we are so incredibly different from Fruendel and his government… but outside of complaining what are most of us actually doing? …Waiting to fucking see! Waiting to see if an election will actually make a difference (this time), waiting to see if six is different from half dozen, waiting to see if government is going to fix it, and then getting vexed when they continue not to.
It makes no sense to get vexed with a pumpkin plant for growing like a vine because, well… IT’S A FUCKING VINE!
It seems to me that as a society we need to accept our culpability in this situation and stop trying to lay the blame entirely at the feet of our politicians. Don’t get me wrong, they get no sympathy from me, I consider our political class to be guilty of all sorts of impropriety for which they should be held accountable, but I don’t accept that they put us in this situation without our permission and assistance.
We are, after all the ones who sold votes for money and drinks as opposed to selling votes for progressive implementable policies. We are the ones who accepted fear of victimisation as a valid excuse for social inaction and silence. We are the ones who chose to mistake stagnation for stability. We are the ones who allowed our politicians to forget that they are civil servants; we are the ones who turned them into demagogues (and demigods).
Sometimes a society has to take the initiative, and recognise that leadership (in reality) almost NEVER comes from the political class. Sometimes a society has to take charge and form supportive collectives and support local small businesses by actually doing business with them and create informal markets. Sometimes a society needs to find it’s more informed members and educate itself and learn about its rights and make high demands of all its members. I don’t know that any of this will happen; I try my best not to offer hope, because I really don’t believe in it. I tend to believe that people will just point out how hard it is to organise the average citizen and that victimisation is real and that it's like this all over the world and (my all-time favourite) that “things will never change!” I don’t know! I just thought I’d throw that in there!
Happy Fucking Independence!
Nala (The $2 Philosopher)