Well I might have stayed for the end if the usual Guyanese sickness of not starting on time and totally disrespecting other people's time didn't surface-- I sat bitching with Dave (of Martin fame) as I noted it was over 35 minutes from the advertised time and sourly remarked that we must be waiting for some Minister or the other to finish eating his dinner and really they ought to serve around the snacks to appease the pissed-off in the audience (like me) rather than rewarding the late-comers. Turned out to be the always-late Prime Minister and I thought that how the people advertise events one hour earlier, they should do the same with the PM or simply start without him so by the the time he gets there the snacks gun dun- sort of reverse Pavlovian training.
I used the time usefully to start deleting some of the 2256 sent messages on my cellphone- haven't figured out how to use the games yet, it's only been 4 years. Dave walked out just about when they started or maybe he didn't want to sit near to Juan Edgehill, who look like he lost weight.
The topic was Sustaining Guyanese Culture in the Era of Globalisation and while Vibert Cambridge started with a nod to 'Dis Na A Lang Time' and a mention of Chinese culture (cos Godfrey Chin was sitting in a front seat) he quickly and strangely dwelt for ages on Eddie Grant - I thought he woulda talk about how good it was the government was giving away 90,000 Netbooks cos then we would have more Guyanese Blogs expressing what people really think but no-- a full account of Eddie ensued and I took it to mean how Eddie conquered the Globe! Must be the era Vibert grew up in, as 'Guyanese culture' morphed into what the predominently Afro-Guyanese was doing in Georgetown-- however he did take time out to lash out at the way the Europeans dissed everybody else's cultural contribution in Guyana and insist that theirs was best. Vibert woulda have been glad to hear that he reminded me of CLR James in "Beyond a Boundary" who also complained that the White People didn't let the talented 'people of colour' play and/or didn't promote them but missed completely that they copied their Masters well by doing the same to the West Indians of Indian origin when they were in the driving seat. Vibert made a reference to the description of the Image of a Centipede when describing the local celebrations on the street back in de day- many legs constantly moving and emerging from the rubbish.
I gleaned that one of the earliest commentators was a Mr Deweaver in the 1920's who charted the poor working conditions, food and drink in the Colony in a very cunning song and represented one of the earliest Creole expressions in BG-- several books had been written by Englishmen about the inhumane conditions of the working people in the Colony before this time (See a good summary Chapter 2 - West on Trial) Something that our Local Education system seems to have flipped past-- contributing to the appaling ignorance of our youth about their History- actually if you think about it-- appalling ignorance of Guyanese about their history.