Hey! Diddle! Diddle! The cat and the fiddle the cow jumped over the moon!
boy laughed to see such fun and the dish ran away with the spoon!
This is a lesson
about ambition overriding the possibility of achievement.
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating a Xmas pie;
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plumbAnd said what a good boy am I!
A lesson to
show that what Jack did was not an achievement the plumb was already
in the pudding. The sarcasm of these rhymes is not understood.
distance between two points is a straight line. That is not the
right definition; the shortest distance between two points on a plain
surface is a straight line. A black man, Hannibal, knew that a
long time ago when he crossed the Alps and took a straight direction
but not a straight line.
We are in difficult
waters and so many have an idea that they are great and have bestowed
the laurel leaves on themselves as they feed off and devour knowledge
from the bright and intelligent, whom they despised and when the time
is right regurgitate it in a form that is more palatable to the public
Last week on
his programme, Andrew Pilgrim played it like Mac Fingall. They
play the idiot! Wa Dax! What is its meaning. It is
a class thing - a quasi class - that behaves as if everything is a joke.
La! De! Da! Let us make fun of this for nothing is important we
are alive, we are pretty and we treat everything on that trivial level
- trivialize everything. That is Pilgrim, which should contrast very
seriously with his performance as a lawyer.
deep ironic situations - unless something can get a laugh in a play
it is not understand - they have even found a way to laugh in
Julius Caesar - when Cleopatra put the asp to her breast they laugh
and say that is only a play.
through Andrew is that he is a cynical person and he is laughing at
people all the time but do not mind how idiotic they getting on out
there they not going bring that kind of nonsense to middle class people.
Why do they do it? May be it is an arty-farty thing for Andrew’s
father was one of the few and only boys that drove himself to school
and his uncle, Paul, was a founding member of the Barbados Rally Club,
which was in the 50s, when only the cream of the coloured society,
like Dobbie Douglas, were members
If I were his
mother I would think that he might be getting back at me for it is certain
that he would not have seen that behaviour or mores while under his
family’s middle class roof.
will play that he agrees with the “um dat” kind of thing but he
is not with that. Jeanette Layne Clarke in her column, Bobby Clarke,
they do the split personality thing. Tom Adams used one voice
for the lower classes and one for the better offs but none of them doing
that in their own real lives. Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite talks
about nation language and he wears locks; he understands that there
is some affinity with metaphors but he expresses himself in impeccable
like Jim Carrey, where falling down is to make people laugh but these
are no Jim Carrey or Jimmy Edwards, who always got a laugh, was bright
and he was a mathematics masters. Tony Hancock was a better comedian,
he made a lot of money and he killed himself eventually. Our Fingalls
and Pilgrims feel that they are celebrities but it is not so they do
not act like professionals, do not rehearse, there is no editing and
no disciplines. Daphne Hackett gone and Cynthia Wilson, Peta Alleyne
and such people try with the likes of Belly Laugh and are happy with
such. The only one that would not compromise to descend to that
level is probably Alfred Pragnell.
It is self
indulgence. Jewel and her cackling Bajan Women, which cannot be watched
more than once and not to its conclusion. “I want people to
see me on a motor cycle: let me be seen doing this, interviewing the
American Ambassador,”- and all that at the expense of the audience.
They figure that they are too big for their boots. “We are big
so we can do anything,” - and speaking like the queen in the third
person. “Pilly went to Africa” - “Hamilton Lashley
is not going to do that.”
It is a particular
bend – for a particular effect or effete. “Oh! I discovered
Africa!” They believe that they are at the same level
of the Hollywood stars and that is what afflicts Barbadians. They
believe the spin, which is put out there: Barbados is the best
in the world. Everything about Barbados is fantastic, we are stars!
It is all to
do with behavioural science but our society is not governed by science
and so a lot of analyzing is needed - like, when old people tied a fowl
or a turkey by the foot, fed them - sometimes the birds were force fed
and when the string was removed, the birds did not wander out of the
radius of the circle of the thread because the birds had that territory
and did not know they could go further.
They do not
know that they are free.
An old chief
messenger wore khaki suit and top hat and every body above a janitor
he called: “Yes Sir!” and when he retired, on mornings he
dressed the same way and went and stood outside the public buildings.
There is so
much of that and it is tied up in what we call - tradition - meaning:
happen, there is no explanation for it,” and even the politician
are not bright enough to know it is done. The Prime Minister is
still Deus ex machine - God in the machine. Owen did the same
and all the rest did it. He is God by virtue of his office and
sitting at the top of the pinnacle, so do not confront him.
to think manners means do not cuss the white man translated means -
the boss cannot be told when he is wrong. In the army it
is yes sir! Salute and have the courage to do what needs to be done
in the way it should.
There are definitions,
“connective dissonance” – e.g. a person joins a group and finds
that the group’s behaviour is not what was expected but some want
is fulfilled so the person reconciles the difference, adapts, explains
away, resorts to defensive mechanisms, and defends the conduct.
What can be
recognized as plain ordinary common, manipulation, denial and refusal
to face reality. That is observable with more and more people.
See but blot out, hear but not listen, pay no attention let the bright
ones talk, what they want to talk, do not be disrespectful, ask questions
that bare no reality to the topic and appear intelligent.
It is an idiot’s
stance. Jewel Forde in a recent interview with the American Ambassador
wanted to show her intelligent so she catered to the Ambassador, smiled
when she did not have to do and did not let the woman talk. When
she looked at a painting she said: “I got one of them home.”
This behavior is the way to get through and the line of least resistance.
Every morning on “Morning Barbados” subjects come prepared to say
certain things, do not give proper answers and hope that a question
is asked for what they have to say. Barrow called it appearance.
not know about what they speak and concentrate on style - catch phrases
and translate one another words because it sounds good.
“um, did, dat, wunnah” not recognizable as language. There
is a new word impact, impact is an intransitive verb and must carry
a preposition. Transitive and intransitive - I eat bread - there
has to be subject and an object.
A fellow came
in court charged with stealing jewelry and he wore a big medallion.
The magistrate said: “officer bring that thing let me see it,” he
drop it on the desk and he did not hear a tingle because it was not
published by Clennell Wickham is in the Archives and in it there was
a regular column called Lizzy and Joe, written in Bajan and rhyme, and
very amusing. The innuendo of these two people’s conversation
was brilliant and should be required reading so that some can see how
language is used.
was a body of West Indian literate Charles Dickens was read. In Dickens’
books there was standard English and Cockney. Cockney connects
a similar word and make it rhyme, and it is spoken by those people born
and living in a district within the sound of the bells of Bow Church
in Bow Street, where there was a police court, police court because
all the prostitutes and petty thieves use to go before the magistrate
There is pure
French Castilian and the spelling has to be this way and the grammar
and that is the only authorize one. Spanish is the same.
There is an academy that controls and the Spanish popular press cannot
do things like how the American do like spelling “nite” for night.
There is some accommodation of dialect among the people but it is not
authorized or even looked favorable upon by the authority.
In South America
and Puerto Rico Spanish there are many things that the native Spaniard
would understand in as short space of time like our wunna, the English
would understand in time.
People in England
did not go to school until 1844 after their first education law.
A revised Education Act came in the middle of the war, when Churchill
realized that lack of education was why people were caught so unaware
and he made education compulsory. Before that the education
system was based on elitism. Barbados never relied on the local expert
we accepted everything that was done in other places and did not have
an Education Act until the 1900s.
They had very
few local inspectors of school and he came down and did a silly thing.
A man called Hayden was the first director of education.
He introduced age grouping and one morning a child was in 1st
form at 10 years-old and the next morning in 3rd form in that age grouping.
members of parliament and there is no brain test to get in the House.
A political leader must be educated to the broader world issues and
at this time too many that govern are backward. They have no idea of
rhetoric” - meaning style but rhetoric is the opposite of style.
Rhetoric is much too fundament to ignore, it is not a surface thing
and it needs deep study.
are the same thing, from where do they come? Let us face it from
the beginning Grantley Adams had bright men around him that could shine
but he did not promote them for the moon gets its light from the sun
and he did not want them to get too close. I remember even
en Grantley Adams he would pass he was very careful not to be seeing
mixing with certain people that was Grantley. Grantley was
another Grantley man.
had a rum shop, where there is the statue of Clement Paynes now.
He ran that it for about fifty years. Young civil servants went
there and Adams use to go. He usually bought a half bottle of
J.R. coloured rum. He came in sat d at a table and Horace brought
his bottle out. Grantley acknowledges the boys, sent drinks over
there for them, but he did not go over because, some said, he felt that
they would drink his rum. He never paid Horace.
not a scamp because he saw that certain thing needed to be done and
got them done but he did not want any company and that had and affect
on that generation - fellows like Sleepy Smith and Cupid Williams, who
went to St. Lucia. The fellows could join the Labour Party
but they could not get a position. Hugh Springer was line up for
to be president, when Grantley got him the job, which was a launching
pad for Frank Walcott.
All the politicians
did that. It is just perverse characters and then the sideline politicians
themselves were not educated. Grantley got rid of Hugh Springer.
Sir Mencea Cox had a wife and N.E. Wilson used to horn him all the time,
she ended up with a white fellow. Cox was a taxi driver, owner
of a taxi. He was self-educated and was kept around maybe
because regardless of how well educated he became he could not be a
was one of Adams men he had a bar and restaurant but Adams would not
put him on the executive committee. There was Edwy Talma; he was
bright but he did not want the absolute position. Wynter Crawford
got rid of himself and Theodore Brancker and all of them left.
Grantley kept Ronald Mapp - he was a teacher - and all those that worshipped
was born in Haiti that is why he never was knighted. He was not enfranchised
because a Barbadian knight must be born here. He lived just above
Top Rock on the left hand side. He was bright and was not allowed
although Grantley sent him to the UN on behalf of Barbados. Grantley
sent him as high as Grantley wanted him to go. Vaughn, like most
great men, one of his passions was writing - he wrote a lot but never
published and he played the ukulele. Grantley kept Husband, Smith,
Walcott and Miller – although Miller was different he had initiative.
played the saxophone and he kept it in the trunk of his car, M22.
He and the boys started to drink in Baxter’s Road by old Arthur Cave
and when Arthur Cave was ready for home they retired to a mulatto fellow
from Tichbourne or by Enid in Nelson Street or Rudy’s Inn on Bay Street
above the Police Boys’ Club on the Esplanade side. Ernie Small
used to play the organ there and drinking was until the cows came home,
when the crowd got small Freddie went to the back of his car, returned
inside and played his saxophone.
When enough was had the drinkers traipsed off to Roger Blackman, who lived in Maxwell Road. Freddie lived in Brighton and Arthur Gay in Lower Westbury Road so Freddie gave Arthur a ride home. Freddie never drove more than 10 miles and hour. “Freddie I could get out and walk.”