Categorized | Editorial

The very best wishes for Christmas and Festival, lessons can be learnt

Editorial – December 21, 2012

Montserrat celebrates at this time its 50th year of Festival, a festival that is sometimes called carnival, which is perhaps different because it is celebrated at Christmas time which we know is the time a ‘Christian’ country like celebrates the birth of Christ.

Over these many years, there are two events that feature along with the masquerades, troupes and cultural events and other culture activities. These two are the calypso and beauty shows in various forms, competition and otherwise.

The calypso shows often draw the biggest crowd and one of the reason for this is possibly because of the very origin of calypso. Generally it is accepted as an art form for social commentary or celebration, or both; said to have been sung by slaves, singing often extemporaneously, using satire, poking fun at those in authority and trading insults.

Often the social commentary or even, the satirical or the poking fun or trading of insults have landed some calypsonians having to defend their meanings and intentions. Politicians are usually the perpetrators of the complaints.

This year the state of the nation or the mood and feelings of its people can always be seen through the eyes of these calypsonians, journalists, writers, commentators and preachers who reach the eyes, ears and minds of the people. De Bear, Cupid, Kenzie and others have chosen themes for their calypsos not for the first time, this year addressing some ills or unacceptable situations of the country, some of which are becoming or are already untenable.

King Kenzie is a returning calypsonian, lives in the UK, and he sings:  “If you expect this island to rise, we got to change this grudgeness and selfish minds; we got to clean up our acts and change our minds, if we expect this land to move on we need to love and accept our own, these are some words of reality…”

Meanwhile DeBear highlights some ills, noting the selfish minds. Cupid asks some questions in search for answers. The Premier speaks to the issue often and was very direct in October while speaking to some business people and members of the Small Business Association. “We as Montserratians don’t support one another, if you start a business and you are doing well it will be Montserratians who will kill your business; we tend to support others and we don’t support ourselves… until we change that attitude Montserrat is doomed to absolute failure…” he said.

He concluded the familiar words and said: “…so let us all work together as a group of people who love Montserrat, want to see Montserrat prosper and grow, start collaborating with one another to ensure that you can help your neighbors business to flourish, because when that happens your business will also flourish.”

The Premier is not unaware of the perpetrators. In fact he is very close to many of them, even if he himself or any of his close alliances do not think themselves guilty. Inaction when there is awareness, or cronyism in hard economic times do nothing but worsen the problems. We should note that there are really two terms, grudgingness and selfishness and both lead to corruption and cronyism is nothing less than corruption.

When calypsonians speak they do so often for the ordinary man and those without the voices that get heard. In Montserrat, they are succeeding to make the voices more silent by starving them from the resources and information they need to develop and support active civil societies. So much fear is instilled in even the public service that apathy grows more and more.

But, with the calypsonians taking to song, we try to draw attention to the seriousness of their words in song, satire, fun, insults or otherwise. We then wish that the festivities be enjoyable nonetheless as much as they may not be as meaningful as few would expect. That is based on factors which will become evident in time. We hope that lessons will be learnt, because the number of visitors may not be as now, but the fact is it can be.

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Editorial – December 21, 2012

Montserrat celebrates at this time its 50th year of Festival, a festival that is sometimes called carnival, which is perhaps different because it is celebrated at Christmas time which we know is the time a ‘Christian’ country like celebrates the birth of Christ.

Over these many years, there are two events that feature along with the masquerades, troupes and cultural events and other culture activities. These two are the calypso and beauty shows in various forms, competition and otherwise.

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The calypso shows often draw the biggest crowd and one of the reason for this is possibly because of the very origin of calypso. Generally it is accepted as an art form for social commentary or celebration, or both; said to have been sung by slaves, singing often extemporaneously, using satire, poking fun at those in authority and trading insults.

Often the social commentary or even, the satirical or the poking fun or trading of insults have landed some calypsonians having to defend their meanings and intentions. Politicians are usually the perpetrators of the complaints.

This year the state of the nation or the mood and feelings of its people can always be seen through the eyes of these calypsonians, journalists, writers, commentators and preachers who reach the eyes, ears and minds of the people. De Bear, Cupid, Kenzie and others have chosen themes for their calypsos not for the first time, this year addressing some ills or unacceptable situations of the country, some of which are becoming or are already untenable.

King Kenzie is a returning calypsonian, lives in the UK, and he sings:  “If you expect this island to rise, we got to change this grudgeness and selfish minds; we got to clean up our acts and change our minds, if we expect this land to move on we need to love and accept our own, these are some words of reality…”

Meanwhile DeBear highlights some ills, noting the selfish minds. Cupid asks some questions in search for answers. The Premier speaks to the issue often and was very direct in October while speaking to some business people and members of the Small Business Association. “We as Montserratians don’t support one another, if you start a business and you are doing well it will be Montserratians who will kill your business; we tend to support others and we don’t support ourselves… until we change that attitude Montserrat is doomed to absolute failure…” he said.

He concluded the familiar words and said: “…so let us all work together as a group of people who love Montserrat, want to see Montserrat prosper and grow, start collaborating with one another to ensure that you can help your neighbors business to flourish, because when that happens your business will also flourish.”

The Premier is not unaware of the perpetrators. In fact he is very close to many of them, even if he himself or any of his close alliances do not think themselves guilty. Inaction when there is awareness, or cronyism in hard economic times do nothing but worsen the problems. We should note that there are really two terms, grudgingness and selfishness and both lead to corruption and cronyism is nothing less than corruption.

When calypsonians speak they do so often for the ordinary man and those without the voices that get heard. In Montserrat, they are succeeding to make the voices more silent by starving them from the resources and information they need to develop and support active civil societies. So much fear is instilled in even the public service that apathy grows more and more.

But, with the calypsonians taking to song, we try to draw attention to the seriousness of their words in song, satire, fun, insults or otherwise. We then wish that the festivities be enjoyable nonetheless as much as they may not be as meaningful as few would expect. That is based on factors which will become evident in time. We hope that lessons will be learnt, because the number of visitors may not be as now, but the fact is it can be.