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Genuine friends must look out for SuperBlue
The greatest tragedy and ironically the most significant triumph in this year’s Carnival is the “coming out” of T&T’s soca king Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons, whose legitimate claim to that title was severely damaged during that most difficult period in his life when he underwent that most harrowing segment when his demons were in control.
Let’s face facts: We all have demons of one kind or the other, some more painful than others. Nevertheless, they are demons, playing dangerous games with our body and soul. The weaker ones succumb more easily and this is where we as a society have to come to the assistance of the most vulnerable, and how we treat with them would tell us the kind of people we are.
I followed the life of Blue Boy when he came to town in the 1980s from his Point Fortin home town with his super hit Soca Baptist. Unfortunately not all of us can deal with “success,” especially in show business, where there are all kinds of illegal blandishments thrown at you especially if you fall into the wrong company.
I am not excusing Lyons for his predicament, because he is a big man and every action has consequences. He fell in skid row and I won’t bother to go through the sordid details of his life on the streets. The fact is, today he is making a valiant effort to put his life together and this is where those around him, who I would call his handlers, would have an important part to play in his rehabilitation.
SuperBlue is still is a national icon with talent flowing in all directions and if the people around him are truly interested in his welfare, they must not simply grab whatever he might have made this Carnival, or they would all stand guilty of further destroying this almost living legend.
There are rehabilitation facilities in this country. Trust me, I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand a lot of people in every social strata attending these places for rehabilitation sessions, and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. An addiction is an illness just like any other which needs medical and other attention.
Like I said, SuperBlue for me was the greatest significant event of this Carnival if only to see his adoring fans kissing the dirt he walked on. His “rebirth” was a deeply spiritual awakening and make no mistake about it, that “white angel” which heralded his rebirth was nothing to take lightly.
Are we going to let him down again? In the final analysis he has to make that effort to battle his demons but with all the help of his genuine friends I am sure he would pull through. That man still has a lot of talent and love for his culture and we cannot afford to let him down.
Wasn’t it Explainer who sang years ago, we cannot treat our heroes so…?
Now, with all that said, I would die for my calypso and there isn’t anything like a good old calypso, unlike the soca version. Unfortunately this year’s crop was particularly awful, so much so that would you believe that whole pre-Carnival week I played carols and Christmas songs on my car radio?
The calypsoes were so pathetic, they had no substance, no depth, no character, apparently because as a result of the short season all our bards were on a hustle to see who could sing the most vacuous numbers.
In that category I would like to put our new monarch, Pink Panther, with these two pedestrian numbers. I am in a predicament in that the bard for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration, Dr Hollis Liverpool, the Mighty Chalkdust, composed the two numbers for him. I have always held up Chalkdust as the ultimate yardstick for political and social commentary and when I heard it was he who composed these tunes for Pink Panther, my heart sank.
How could this highly respected calypso researcher/author/ composer/singer write those two inane tunes? I still hold Chalkdust in the highest esteem and one day he will go down as one of the greatest exponents of the art form.
Two quick final points: a) by way of atonement Pink Panther ought to donate a portion of his prize money (taxpayers’ if you please) to the East Port-of-Spain Foundation to assist his underprivileged black brothers and sisters with that large amount of taxpayers’ money; and b) whose macabre idea it was to haul on stage a coffin or coffins as props? It was indeed a very insensitive act to the souls of the departed.
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