December 19, 2014

Hip-hop revolution

Satiricus held his head in amazement. These Americans were just amazing!!! Six decades after the America’s “kinder and gentler” took over the “White Man’s burden” – they were still going strong. Talk about “fidelity to a cause”!!! But what amazed Satiricus even more was the creativity they showed in their altruistic task.
Take Cuba, for instance. When that ruffian Castro threw out that benevolent Batista – who’d raised property values so much with beach front Hotels and Casinos (with prostitutes), the American gringos hadn’t given up. Even though they were a bit heavy handed with their “Bay of Pigs” invasion, they’d learnt from their mistakes, no??
Satiricus remembered the BBC documentary: “638 ways to kill Castro.” Now if that didn’t show stick-to-itiveness, what else could?? The assassination attempts included cigars poisoned with botulinum toxin, a tubercle bacilli infected scuba-diving suit along with a booby-trapped conch placed on the sea bottom, an exploding cigar, a ballpoint pen containing a hypodermic syringe and so on.
James Bond could’ve learnt a thing or two from the CIA!!
When that didn’t work, they moved on to embarrassing Castro. There was that “thallium salt” concoction that would make his beard fall off!! Now that was clever wasn’t it?? If Castro’s beard fell off who’d listen to him?? Fast forwarding to this decade, we learnt the CIA was knocked off the job (after failing in 638 attempts, you’d think it was time, no??) and the USAID/IRI was hired.
The programme was all about “aiding” Cubans, after all! Last year, USAID unleashed a Cuban Twitter, called “ZunZuneo” – after the hummingbird – to encourage Cuban youths to overthrow Castro. Well…ummm…actually the younger brother Raul. But they’re all the same, no?? And this latest effort was a stroke of genius – hip-hop!! “Yup!!” thought Satiricus.
“If P Diddy and Jay Zee” could destabilise American values …what was Cuba’s Castros’ socialism to the power of revolutionary hip-hop??
And Satiricus grabbed his headphones and listened to “Revolutionary” from Immortal Technique. USAID had spent US$53 million to pass on to Cuban hip-hop artistes:
[Men talking]
Yo load the f*** up (locked and loading)
You too (locked and loading sir!!)
Remember break that window when that cop comes in
and blow that motherf***er’s head off
[multiple gun shots] (Got him!!)
Yeah load it up again cause these motherf***ers
are gonna come back for us. (Were ready)
We gotta be prepared in this day and age, we gotta
be prepared for whatever comes the f*** at us. (Word up)
Cause we are living revolutionarily. (Definitely]
[Malcolm X]
“It’s liberty or death…,
there’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody!” [crowd cheers]
“Why the USAID spending all their money on conferences and not hip-hop??” moaned Satiricus in frustration. “Maybe they could’ve brought Beyoncé with Jay Zee!”

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Negotiations

Satiricus was relieved. No…he didn’t RELIEVE himself – even though that always brought relief. He was just RELIEVED. He’d heard about the “Dance of the Thousand Veils”. You know??… Where the stripper has to peel of layers and layers of gossamer to finally reveal what Satiricus ALWAYS knew was there. That string bikini!!!

But this here dance by Rum Jhaat had to be the “Dance of the Thousand Feints”, since Rum Jhaat had been bobbing and weaving for years about whether he’d tie bundle with the Pee- an-See.

He’d stoutly denied he’d ever do it…meaning no matter how many stouts they plied him with, he kept his lips zipped. “Loose lips sink ships,” his sponsors from the US Embassy always told him.

And now he’d finally done it!! But in the midst of his relief that the deed was done – and boat gone a watah – Satiricus couldn’t help, but think as to how churlish the rest of the politicians were, carrying on snidely about Rum Jhaat’s magnificent sacrifice.

First of all, they wouldn’t even admit it was a “sacrifice”. Rather than focus as to why Rum Jhaat was getting involved with the Pee-an-See when everybody knew they had the dreaded Kuh-Kuh-Beh, people were just getting their panties in a knot about Rum Jhaat hinting he’d be willing to be the top dog…the head honcho…the Man…the Leadah!

“What the heck?” thought Satiricus. “Wasn’t RumJhaat a leader in his party the KFC?” Satiricus knew that RumJhaat didn’t care about “leadership”. He cared about money and he cared about Rum. And politics had given him both.

His father had been very prescient to name him Rum Jhaat. Anyhow, Green Bridge, Roop Na Rain and all the other fellas in the APANU were determined to humiliate Rum Jhaat. Rather than lining up to throw flower petals in his path as he entered the Pee-an-See, they were insisting that there had to be “negotiations”!!

“I don’t believe that!” mumbled Satiricus. Had Eisenhower negotiated when he saved Europe?? Had MacArthur “negotiated” when he liberated Japan?? Why the heck should Rum Jhaat “negotiate” to save the Pee-an-See??

Satiricus had just the answer who thought like that and he wasn’t afraid of telling them as he saw it: “In the immortal words of that fearless leader Rum Jhaat, HAUL YUH ASS!!!”

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Do fuh do…

Satriricus was getting confused (as usual). He just couldn’t keep up with these politicians and their constant ‘jooking’ of each other. Was Rum Jhaat really a racist because he and his buddy Naga Man didn’t show up at the Square?? “Maybe they were just being honest when they said they thought it was a ‘black thing’. And that’s why they sent the brothers NoGel and Pat-a-Son,” thought Satiricus.
Maybe the ‘N’ word was going to be used…and they wouldn’t want Naga Man to put his foot in his mouth again.
Then there was Prezzie. Why did he have to keep pestering GrainJa for “dialogue”?? This was soooo provocative. Jeez…when would Prezie understand that GrainJa was a soldier…trained in warfare his whole life?? For a fella like GrainJa, “dialogue” was what you did AFTER you’ve defeated the enemy and you’re dictating the terms of ceasefire. (For example, “Give us all your firstborn for the next 50 years”.) Granger should be invited to a “dialogue” AFTER the next elections when the PNC would have gone down in defeat for SIX times. (“We’ll top up the Opposition Leader’s perks like we did the last time.” Wink, wink.)
And GrainJa was just as bad. Why did he have to embarrass Rum Jhaat and Naga Man to invite them Cuffy Square?? Didn’t he know that was a “Blackmaan” place and for two fellas from Berbice, that was suicide!! How would they be able to cuss down Blackmaan under the bottom house like they did in Whim last week??
Did Granger think that just because Berbicians led the country in suicides, he and Naga Man were ready to take the plunge?? “What a dope” thought Satiricus, “GrainJa should stick to marching up and down in the sun. That’s all he did when he was a soldier for 30 years!”
“What to do??” moaned Satiricus as he held his head in his hands. And then he saw the letter from the Black Sage from Buxton in the Stabber News. “Glory be to the one most High!!” thought Satiricus. All his problems were solved.
The Black Sage was answering the whining by a member of the PPEE – one HiDar. HiDar claimed it was “unfair” for the Opposition to take both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker positions – when for all of history this was shared between Government and Opposition.
And the Black Sage who was the veritable fount of wisdom according to the Stabber News, gave his answer which brought light to Satiricus dim witted brain. The Black Sage said that he too had once felt like that.
But then he had concluded that even though there was no tradition of the President sharing positions in the Cabinet to the Opposition, since the President didn’t do this, he should be punished.
And so he declared his judgement, which Satiricus accepted henceforth: “Do fuh do na obeah.”

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The millennium revolutionary

Satiricus has always wondered who’d keep the revolutionary flag burning in the present age. As a student of history (albeit a “slow one”, he admitted, dejectedly) he admired Robespierre of the French Revolution, Washington of the American’s, L’Overture of the Haitian, Lenin of the Russian, Mao of the Chinese and Fidel of the Cuban.

But those were all past – even Fidel had one foot in the grave.

And while Satiricus knew that the forces of history rolled inexorably forward, he knew too that you could never tell who exactly would embody the new, revolutionary “geist” – the revolutionary spirit of the age. But cometh the hour; cometh the leader, no?? And so it was that when the great Leader of the Opposition, GrainJa, demanded “revolutionary action” to stop the dictatorship the Government was establishing, he just knew the hour had arrived.

After all, how dare the President announce that before the Opposition “bruk up” Parliament, they should maybe sit down and parley!!! So what if the word “Parliament” came from the word “parley” which meant “to talk”.

What an insult!! This was just like telling people to “go eat cake” when they complained they had no bread! This was the straw that broke the donkey’s back. Hadn’t the fiery GreenBridge reminded the Government who dared to want dialogue what’d happened to Charles 1?? Off with his head!!

The revolutionary GrainJa immediately called upon his people to storm the Bastille. Well…the pink OP did look like a fortress, no? He called upon his ally from the KFC to rally to his side. And this is where Satiricus just knew that the hour had arrived for “the revolutionary of the millennium” when he heard that great leader of the KFC, RumJhaat respond to GrainJa.

“Oh GrainJa… We have listened to your call. But we must tell you now that dis time na lang time. Times change and we must change. Look how me and Naga Man used to drink El Dorado Rum. Now we drink Bush Rum.

“Your tactics of storming the OP is outdated. Look what happened to Markus Benchcapus and Phillipus Bynosus. One is doing charity work and the other is a charity case. In this new millennium, there has to be new revolutionary action.

“And it is this: we will continue to bombard the Government with our hard-hitting press releases and comments in the press. And let this statement ring from every hilltop: the pen is now mightier than the sword!! You can quote me on that!!”

All the hairs on Satiricus’ arms stood up. “Horripilation” it was called and it signaled awe!

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The invisible man

Satiricus was saddened at what’d happened to GrainJa. The fella had disappeared!! He was now just like that fella Satiricus had read about in an old novel – “The Invisible Man”. Not the one by Wells about the fella who physically became transparent – and so invisible to everyone around him. No. With GrainJa, it was more like Ellison’s “Invisible Man”. People just refused to see him.

Satiricus blamed the Rum Jhaat and the Naga Man from the KFC party for GrainJa’s predicament. Imagine that GrainJa was the leader of leaders – leader of the Pee an See, leader of the APANU and leader of the Parliamentary Opposition.

But what did that do for him?? Nada, zilch, Zero! Even though he had so many seats, just because he didn’t have a majority he had to depend on those wankers in the KFC to challenge the PPCEE.

Granger’s mother had taught him “when yuh hand in tiger mouth…pat ‘e head”. And by Jove, GrainJa had been doing so much “patting” on the KFC’s head, he felt he was playing “pat-a-cake”.

First there was that “thing” in Linden. He patted their heads and pretended he agreed with the AFC’s blocking roads and all that. And of course, Agricola was next with even more road blocking. “What do these KFC people have against roads, anyway?!” grumbled GrainJa, sourly.

GrainJa was an admirer of the old Army Hero – Teddy Roosevelt – and followed the latter’s motto – “Talk softly but carry a big stick”! The KFC “wild men”, as his sponsor CorBane pointed out, just wanted to show people they existed. GrainJa, on the other hand, fancied himself as a strategic thinker. But because of the KFC provocations he had to talk loudly and show his big stick. “No more!” he vowed!!

And so it was that GrainJa began his picketing of the President on his own. No KFC. People thought KFC didn’t want to come – but that wasn’t true. They wanted sooo badly to get a piece of the action. But GrainJa had learnt his lesson. No more nice guy!! He wasn’t going to be suckered no mo. He would march alone. And alone it was!! Nobody showed up…not even his faithful WhoreMon.

So gradually GrainJa faded from the people’s consciousness. In the beginning, they would ask…”Where is GrainJa?” And GrainJa would smile. Then after a while, they’d asked, “Where is that fella in the Green shirt?” And GraniJa would smile even wider. And finally, on being prompted, they’d respond, “GrainJa Who??”

GrainJa was the Invisible Man. But he’d forgotten that politics was all about recognition. He would soon join CorBane as, “The Forgotten Man”.

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Forgive and forget

Satiricus had been taught as a boy, of John F Kennedy’s maxim – “Forgive your enemies, but don’t forget their names”. What could he say?? Satiricus’ Dad was an “eye for an eye kinda guy”. So Satiricus grew up admiring those who could “forgive and forget”.
While his Dad thought such folks were a bunch of “pussies” who were scared shitless about repercussions of “remembering”, Satiricus felt virtuous not being so “cynical”.
So when this case of GPA vs Mook Lall came up, which Satiricus had even been assigned by his Editor to cover, Satiricus was tense. Here it was, a man who caused other men to wet their buktas and pants when he even mentioned their names – being threatened by the Mook, Satiricus had been livid.
If you could threaten the Man who knew all your hanky-panky financial dealings, what the hell was next?? Bugging your reporters’ phones??
So Satiricus just knew that the full force of the law in all its majesty would come down on the Mook. Just to show him that there’s a line those who’ve sworn to uphold the law must draw. And it wasn’t in the sand!!
So Satiricus had schlepped over to that magnificent structure in which justice was dispensed on the East Coast and shoehorned himself into the mass of humanity to listen to the “unstrained” quality of mercy.
And mercy it was!! A new saint was created in Guyana. The GPA fella who’d made the charge against the Mook, now said that “all was forgiven”. Everybody in court gasped!! He didn’t actually say this himself – saints don’t just present themselves to fellas whom they’ve forgiven. He gave his benediction – it had to be that, since it allowed the Mook to walk off scotch free – through his begotten emissary.
Time, the great man pointed out, healed everything. And he had been healed. Satiricus could just imagine a halo floating over the newly beatified One.
Since this transformation must’ve come without any external promptings – such as further threats or gutless fears – Satiricus just knew that, like Saul on the way to Damascus, the GPA Bigwig was a changed man. This was an epiphany. This came from within!!
From now on, when citizens didn’t pay their taxes because their flesh was weak and they wanted to spend it on wine, women and song – Satiricus was certain they’d be forgiven. Being the big softie he was Satiricus’ eyes teared up at the magnificence of the GPA boss. Such fearlessness!!

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The Great Flood??

Satiricus was glum. “That’s right, chum,” he thought. “I know a Second Coming coming. But how come they never told we about a Second Great Flood at Sunday School??” He coulda start building an Ark.

He’d seen the movie Noah earlier in the year. When the real flood coming you could just throw seeds on the ground and forests would spring up to give you wood there and then. To build the Ark.

Satiricus had lived through the Guyana great flood of 2005 and had come out an even more educated man that he’d been. Not that he’d been any brain-box before, but he’d learnt about “lepto”. He’d never known about lepto before – even though he was told it wasn’t a new disease like Ebola or any of that.

As he wondered as to why he didn’t have any of those special seeds – or even the ones of Jack of his famous beanstalk – he realised that the water flooding the City wasn’t spouting from holes in the ground, like in the movie with Russell Crowe. Drats!! It wasn’t The Great Flood II. He worried if Lepto was around the corner.

Then he became angry at what had happened in the great City in which he lived. No! Satiricus wasn’t going to blame Mayor HamTon Greed, like what a lot of people would do. How could you blame a guy who was old like Methuselah and was probably around when Noah built HIS Ark!

And plus THEY had foisted a woman to watch over the City. That was an affront (and aback) to a fella from a time when women was so much “meat” that could be disposed of like ashes.

Nah!! Satiricus knew that all of this flooding was because of Wit-Take-Her. Satiricus knew it was too good to be true when THEY gave Wit-Take-Her $500 million to “clean up” the City. Now Satiricus knew how devious THEY could be. THEY knew all along these monsoon rains were coming. Weren’t THEY the ones always carrying on about climate change?? Weren’t THEY the ones getting all that Data from THEIR new Meteorological Tower??

Did THEY think Satiricus was soooo dumb he wouldn’t figure it out? “Ha!” snorted Satiricus in derision. What Wit-Take-Her WAS doing all the time, was to clean the drains during the day and using the muck to block the culverts at night!

Having solved the mystery. Satiricus would tell HamTon Greed how to get rid of the floods. And he didn’t need an ARK. Satiricus was glum no more.

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Saving the day

Satiricus was very upset with how folks were lambasting Roop-Na-Rain. Why would they do that when all the man did was save the day for the outfit on which he’s hitched his star??
“How the heck can you have a demonstration at the Square of the Revolution, and not do something “outlandish”?” mumbled Satiricus. Even old man Hite had draped a Guyana Flag over the body of the bandit Blackie. “Jeez, you had to have a sense of time and place!” thought Roop-Na-Rain.
Here it was, people were droning on for hours when the joint shoulda been jumping. Imagine No-Gel Huge had carried on and on and on about what?? Constitutional change, for Chrissake!! Was he the professor, or was Roop-Na-Rain?? As No-Gel droned on Roop-Na-Rain thought long and hard about what he had to do.
When Rum Jhaat and Naga Man showed they didn’t have the guts to show up at the foot of the revolutionary hero Cuffy, he realised that he was going to be the only Chamaar on the stage.
That was the problem with Rum Jhaat and Naga Man. They only thought of themselves. They were probably in some backstreet rum shop knocking off a “large”. They didn’t realise that they had a duty to represent the Chamaars of Guyana??
They had showed good Chamaar behaviour when they had gone to Linden and provoked the people to burn down the place. Had they lost their Chamaar consciousness?? Roop-Na-Rain was proud that he had been picked by GrainJa to represent the Chamaar people in APANU.
Roop-Na-Rain puffed up his chest. “My father was a Chamaar, my mother was a Chamaar…and by God, I am a Chamaar!! I will keep up the Chamaar principles. I will do the most low-class and low-down thing I can think about!”
And so it was when Roop-Na-Rain’s turn to speak came, he came out against all the values he had been taught by the British at their top university. As a Chamaar, they’d taken pity on him and decided to civilise him.
“Burn their newspapers!!!” he screamed. “Boycott them, so they can’t print anything I disagree with!!! Bring them to ruination!!”
You can take the Chamaar out of the gutter, but you can’t take the gutter out of the Chamaar.

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Jumbie politics

Satiricus was so proud of GrainJa. Who said he was an old duffer who had no creativity? He might be old and he might be a duffer but on Friday he showed that he could move with the biggest brains of international politics. Wasn’t it Bush – an American President – who introduced the term “voodoo economics” into popular usage??

And here it was our very own septuagenarian Brigadier GrainJa had revived “jumbie politics” from the dead. Very soon, wherever political science was discussed – not to mention where high spirits were quaffed in abundance, like in rum shops – folks would be mentioning Guyana again when they discussed “jumbie politics”. Just like they talk about “voodoo economics”,

But Satiricus wasn’t surprised that GrainJa came up with “jumbie politics”. He’d been an upcoming young 2nd Lieutenant who’d just returned from England to serve his sponsor Burnt-Ham, when the sly fox invented “jumbie politics”. Only that Burnt-Ham didn’t have the creativity like GrainJa had to call it that.

Some called it “politics of rigging”, “crooked like barbed wire”, “fiddled arrangements”, or plain thuggism (think Hamilton Green and Rabbi Washington). But what it had in its first deployment in 1968, were jumbies. In the first election that year after the pesky British has decamped, the Great Burnt Ham indigenised our electoral practices and allowed jumbies to vote.

The British has given women in their country the franchise in 1928, freed slaves and bondsmen of Guiana the vote in 1950, and now Burnt Ham, who always wanted to better them, extended voting rights to jumbies in 1968!! He was the first world leader to take this bold step. All others waited for jumbies to rise up at the Second Coming – but Burnt-Ham was a leader not a follower. Guyana’s voting list almost doubled that year – and of course, he won the election handily.

The jumbles were not surprisingly very grateful to Burnt Ham for giving them full rights and all that. Those simpletons from the PPCEE had refused to practice jumbie politics. They were so superstitious and preached the British Colonial line that jumbies shouldn’t vote. And they called themselves “radicals”!!

So here was GrainJa following in the leaders footsteps. He’s already introduced the practice of jumbie politics in the Pee-N-See internal elections when he defeated first Green Bridge and then North Ton.

Satiricus was happy that Guyana would see the innovation come back if GrainJa got into power!! But with a name, now!! What a guy!!

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DIS

Satiricus was so proud of the Naga Man. Here it was this man was singlehandedly proving that life begins at 70. He’d already hit 65 when he entered law school, with his youngest daughter two years ahead of him. The older one, of course, had already been admitted to the Bar and was practising.

Satiricus would give those folks any credence who said Naga Man used to cog from his daughter back in Constitutional Law class when they both ended up in the same class.

Yes, sir!! The Naga Man never let age hold him back. In fact, his motto was, “Doah hold me back, Doah hold me back!!” Which always sounded better when you’re clinking glasses. Anyhow, the Naga Man was waxing righteous about the dastardly deed Prezzie had done.

The folks who’d been bussed in from far and wide had been waiting for lunchtime so that they could be fed. Finally, Naga Man ended his peroration by announcing dramatically, that the PPEE had “dissed” the Parliament and the people of Guyana!!

At first Satiricus was aghast: he thought he’d heard “the PPEE has pissed the Parliament…” But then his media Budday listening in said it was actually “dissed”, Satiricus’ esteem for the Naga Man shot up into the stratosphere.

Here it was, he was at least 40 years younger than the Naga Man and he couldn’t keep up with all the new slang. And Naga Man could so easily talk about “dissing” and all that. When did Naga Man become such a hood rat??

So he leaned forward to listen to the rest of Naga Man’s rant on the PPEE.

“Yeah, blood!! The PPEE be dissing us, man. We can’t take it no mo’. We ain’t gonna be nobody’s bitch! Yeah dawg, we gotta get real hardcore and get down on them n****!!”

That’s when the crowd got all silent and all. Very silent. Naga Man slunk back into Parliament. Once again he didn’t know when to stop.

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