With her thoughtful calypso, The You in You Allison Bernard (Warrior Empress) who sings at the Revue calypso tent, placed 3rd at the 2019 NWAC National Calypso Queens competition. One person who was at Queen's Hall called her composition “a dissertation”. This calypso deserves a comment or critique that goes beyond what was written by reporters who covered the event.
There are basically two narratives presented on the existing crisis in Venezuela as articulated by some columnists, representatives of local groups and letter writers in the press. The first is that the current situation was all planned by the US as part of a strategy to destabilise the Government of Chavez and now Maduro because it did not find favour in Washington. In pursuit of this strategy, the political Opposition inside the country was mobilised in collaboration with business elements, other groups, and the media to mount and publicise consistent protests against the Government. Juan Guaido, the current head of the National Assembly, who proclaimed himself as interim President is an unknown and was, in fact, groomed in Washington for this role. The US not only persuaded many European and Latin American countries to endorse him but also influenced the international media to report negatively on the unfolding situation in Venezuela.
"What to do? What to do?" cried my friend in frustration after reading about the 19 young Venezuelan women, between 15 and 19 years old, who were rescued following police operations in west Trinidad. The media reported that police have cracked a major drug and prostitution ring.
Well I’m no longer single and most of what you will read in the next couple of weeks isn’t what it looks like for us anymore, but even though these articles were written for LOOP TT exactly two years ago, they are still the most shared articles I’ve ever written, so I figured it would only be fair to my loyal Guardian readers to republish them here.
What do Panorama 2019 and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) obsession with “the future of work” have in common? Everything. There he goes again, you say: “Pan–the greatest thing we do” and all that stuff.
Around the Christmas holidays, I was looking up videos on Youtube when I found one for “Trinidad Black Cake”. It was published by a cooking channel called “Tasty” and featured a recipe prepared by a first generation Trinidadian-American named Kwesi. Along with the instructions and ingredient measurements, which included a warning about the alcohol content, he tells the viewers a little about his family and how the making of the cake is an integral part of their Trini-style Christmas celebration. As he savoured the finished product, he said that it felt good to share his culture with the rest of the world. It was a really nice video; Trinbagonians viewing it from abroad would appreciate this visual “taste” of home. And there's “no doubt” that our country could use a little positive exposure for a change. But, as if the fates were listening, I recently came across another video on Youtube that featured Trinidad, only this time…the story it told was nothing to be proud of.
Dr David Bratt
One of the most difficult things to do is lose weight. There are many possible explanations for this: chronically expanded stomachs from poor eating habits; impaired glucose metabolism; abnormal gut bacteria etc. But one of the most intriguing is the possibility that obesity may be a defensive mechanism that children, girls especially, use to defend themselves from sexual abuse. This explains quickly and efficiently the difficulty in getting people to lose weight. What presents as the "Problem" may, in fact, be an attempted solution and "treating" the solution may threaten people and cause flight from treatment. There is physical safety in being obese.
After the death of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, “Check on your strong friends” became a loosely used social media status and months later while it is still being thrown around I am not certain that many have taken the time and effort to even figure out what that means.
The international NGO, Refugees International (RI), cannot be said NOT to have a horse in the race when it comes to this country’s poor performance on the question of refugee rights. As in the case of Amnesty International, Mr Minister, RI has a very clear human and humanitarian rights “agenda”.
The sight of young girls smoking marijuana while wearing school uniforms circulated across the Internet over the past few days is at once disturbing. But subsequent news that the suspended young ladies were seen online smoking at home is alarming.
As reported in the Trinidad Guardian, the leader of the UNC at a meeting with party members promised that when the party regains the reins of government it will create a digital innovation corridor. I presume that given our depleting petroleum resources it was appreciated that we have to import to survive, ie, we have to export to earn the required foreign exchange. Further, we have to be globally competitive in the latter and this today is about the use of innovation, invention/knowledge. Surely it was realised that innovation/inventions stem from R&D (research and development) programmes and these have to be funded.
My attention was drawn to a commentary in the Guardian of 23/1/19 headlined "Motorists are not being penalised" written by one Marvin Gonzales who is head of the Legal Services Unit in the Ministry of Works and Transport. His comments were in response to a column which I had penned on 18/1/19.
I want to applaud Ganga Singh for his enlightened stance in the politics seeking to accommodate the diversity that is T&T through a framework involving a coalition of the various elements in the society. In this call, he seems to put the country first looking ahead at a possible electoral victory for the coalition he calls for and a consequent policy line that would embrace all the people. It is instructive, though, that he is taking a position that is at variance with that of his party, which despite all the talk about unity, is basically tribal in its configuration, as much as the other main party is. But his call is rooted in his party’s history of success, for the UNC would have only won when in coalition—first with the NAR in 1986 and then again with the coalition of 2010.
Just over a year ago, the impact of climate change was felt severely by residents of Bamboo Village in Cedros when accelerated coastal erosion caused two homes and a large chunk of the roadway to collapse into the sea. In the aftermath of that event, a once thriving rural community has disappeared and residents have been located to another district in south-west Trinidad
“Wrong Side” is a 2019 calypso sung by Sasha-Ann Moses. She is at the Revue Tent for a second year and she is a former Calypso Queen. Sasha-Ann usually sings conscious traditional calypsoes, but she has ventured into soca and R&B.