Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guyanese Sheeple

Lack of regulation seems to be creeping into every sphere of life- so the Yoga Class which I attend to try and de-stress, is no exception.  The teacher, for reasons best known to himself took a month off to go to India notwithstanding the fact that he is back for a month, then returning for good. As payment is quarterly, it follows that we ought to have a month’s grace as we had paid in advance—this also means that the new payment can start with the new replacement teacher if/when there is one.
But no—we were informed that the quarterly payment was due shortly – so I pointed the above logic to the class of mainly middle-aged to elderly and it was greeted with a half-hearted response—I suggested a letter to which we would all sign and the usual ‘helpful’ Guyanese suggestion of before a letter, an informal chat with the new Director—but then a blank on who would go- then one man saying the Yoga Classes were good value as they were being subsidized by the Indian Government and he could afford the amount for the lost month. Then another woman chipping in about how expensive the Yoga Classes were in the US (excuse me, but what's the f-ing relevance??)
 Sigh – so who’s right? Me for attempting to voice a logical opinion so at least it would not reinforce the utter contempt the Indians have for the spineless low-caste rejects from India in times past who take their licks, bitch and do nothing or them for being further along the path of ahimsa/non-violence for not sweating the small stuff?
So is it centuries of oppression bred into the genes which make them depressive introverts fearful to open their mouths in public but willing to take out Life’s frustrations on their hapless wives and children, who in turn perpetuate the nasty cycle or is it just the defeatist attitude that whatever they do would be ineffective and why draw attention to yourself?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Patrick's Perturbed Poem


Today is not a nice day
Today is not a day for learned responses
And the upkeep of society’s pretenses
Today is not a day to smile and say
Good morning how are
Good afternoon how do you do
Today is a day to look some of you in the face
And say fuck you!
Because today this son of a slave is angry
Angry with the white man
Who kept me in chains and ragged attire
Angry with the greedy brown ones
Who’ve been trying to do the same
Since the white man retired.
But most of all this son of a slave
Is angry with those of his own kind
Who neglect their duty
And turn their backs on history.
Who instead of using their energy
For the betterment of each other
Boast about working for the Holy Father.
Put on their best clothes and their best smiles
Pick up their best bibles
And walk into the house of mental oppression
To sing hallelulah and take Holy Communion
Giving praise and thanks to the bastard son
The first baby conceived through artificial insemination
Leaving their own sons and daughters
To roam the streets and wallow in ignorance.

Today is not a nice day
Today this son of a slave is angry
Angry with the white sons-of-bitches
Who dragged me across the Atlantic
Angry with the brown sons-of-bitches
Who take their greed and prejudices
To the ballot boxes and mark their x-es
Next to the philistines destroying this nation.
But most of all angry with the black sons-of-bitches
Who neglect their education
And go through life without a plan
Living in the moment blissfully content
With snatching other people’s chains and watches


Shooting and stabbing their fellow man
For a few dollars to spend on clothes and drugs
Killing helpless young women for cell phones
May the ghost of Sheema haunt their souls
And diseases invade their bones.

Today is not a nice day
Because today this son of a slave is angry
Maybe tomorrow while under the stupor
Of a hangover from today’s anger
I will cover my bile with a smile
And say good morning how are you
But for today I just want to look
At some of your shameless faces and say
Fuck you!
                                                       Patrick George

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


In spite of the fact that US seismologists are working on a early warning system, Nature can never be fully predictable; therefore the current case in Italy of putting seven scientists on trial for failing to give adequate warning strikes me as trying to absolve oneself of responsibility--- fact - the village is/was located in a seismologically active area; fact- improved engineering and knowledge of construction in earthquake zones are around; fact - in a more lax country where Building Codes would be ignored disaster on a larger scale  is bound to happen!
One wonders how much more foolish human beings can be- surely if you're anywhere near a fault line-- it's in your interest to check that the building you're in is to specification? I remember this was a similar problem back in Turkey years ago - the disaster was worse because many buildings ignored the building recommendations! Wonder if people in Nepal which is experiencing seismic activity knew that they are on a fault line?

I should add my personal view in Guyana where those with more money than sense are going higher-- there should be some sort of formula between the height of the building and the distance from the property's boundary as it follows a fire in a taller building would endanger those neighbouring buildings directly below it -- where are the people with Common-Sense I wonder??

Friday, September 16, 2011

Whither Guyana?

Half-sleep to hear a Mr Kishore from Singapore enthusiastically extolling virtues of said country and why Asia has surpassed the West and will continue to do so! Chief amongst the reasons for Singapore's success is their scrupulous adherence to the Rules - ensuring that businesses will feel comfortable that they will not be 'ripped off'  by underhand practices.  Sort of harkening back to the days when a man's word was his bond, a Handshake was better than a written contract etc.   It made me remember a conversation on a return flight to Guyana with a Surinamese who was in the fishing industry, who said without Law and Order nothing will 'work' and that was a main difference between Guyana and Surinam --- mmm wonder if that's still applicable under Bouterese?

Understandably in a 'small society' where inevitably someone 'knows' someone the Laws are very rarely enforced so woe betide the poor sucker who doesn't go through the 'usual' - they have the full force of the Law on their heads but knowing others are not so penalised has a tendency of rubbing salt in the wounds!

So Singapore's emphasis in investing in their people, having a National strategy and being one of the most strict countries in the world in enforcing rules- to the point of being anal about it seems to be paying off?
And we-- our investment seems to be a bit half-baked, not having a plan for the returning students, the sneaking suspicion that the coveted scholarships to the ABC countries are reserved for the 'new elites', having cushy jobs reserved for them, like an MBA gained while in full employment in the Government, no doubt at the country's expense so justifying a Minister's position but questionable about completion of High School.  So the fact that they have the narcissistic drive to reach the top - does this mean they are the best people to think on behalf of the rest of us? Yes-- large concrete monstrosities have sprung up but is it progress to completely change the face of a beautifully laid out Colonial city? To use social services to keep the masses beholden and dependent?

Monday, September 12, 2011

All about Love and Knight's Possession

by Bell Hooks and Carole Mortimer respectively.

The former is a review of the latest (2000) liberal views of Love in its various forms and the resulting misery in lives without, while the latter is a classic Mills & Boon depending on the heroine's brainlessness and lack of communication skills to drag out the drama and be 'rescued'.  Like the 'heroine', I can't believe I spent most of my teen-aged years gobbling up such trash and other bodice-rippers.

So I liked it that the beginning of the Bell Hooks book were chapters on  Grace and Clarity, but Romantic Love was summed as: "The heart beat of true love is the willingness to reflect on one's actions, and to process and communicate this reflection with the loved one". 'Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue' - I suppose what those saints and holy people referred to as working with love.

I found the Bell Hooks particularly on point in the chapter on Greed, where it's a permanent vicious circle of greed and exploitation triggering alienation and lovelessness. But this quote seems to sum up what happened in London last month: 'poor teenagers are willing to maim and murder for a pair of tennis shoes or a designer coat' -- in Guyana you could take out teenagers and substitute cell-phones/laptops for the desirables...
The Police here have yet to charge someone for the murder of the young Bank Teller who was dragged to her death after pursuing her attackers who snatched her cell phone at the corner of a busy Intersection!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

Very light-weight, easy to read Mills and Boon type crossed with a sort of thriller.
Plot highly implausible but raises an interesting point about how a spouse may not 'know' their partner even after about fifteen years of 'domestic bliss'.
Following the destruction of an American airline in the Irish Sea, the pilot's wife who seems to be a bad communicator sucks it all in with a stiff upper lip. Suspicions begin to arise that just maybe he might have had a second life and the second half of the book attempts to strain one's incredulity.  Just amazed that this book got so many reviews on Amazon -- apparently it was an Ophrah Bookclub selection - now what was SHE thinking?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Presidential Kudos

In;postID=6542908100771242627, I had naively assumed that one waited to be asked to 'open' a ceremony, grace a performance etc.  I read an amusing blog about the upcoming President's Appreciation Day : apparently being hosted by those people who benefited under President Jagdeo. The TV ad looked suspiciously like it could have been applicable to President Cheddi Jagan but with the current one's picture inserted instead!
Added three days later because it's so priceless - quote from a self-styled 'Bishop', heading the Ethnic Relations Committee : “The bible establishes that all persons in authority are there because God wants them to be in authority and there is no way appreciating a president who’s about to demit office could be deemed taking sides,"

Someone in the daily papers remarked on the surprising lack of comment and silence by the Opposition to the overly-generous retirement package Jagdeo was allowed to write himself -- truly living a limousine lifestyle in a donkey cart economy. Granted that an ex-president would look bad standing on the roadside waiting to catch a mini-bus (though that obviously is not applicable to ex-spouses, or those who presumed they were ex-spouses-- considered same under Guyana Law) perhaps to make things fairer the final Presidential and MP's salaries should be pegged to the basic minimum pension? Say 30x for the President and 15x for the MP's?
That way it would truly be in their interest to work for the betterment of the people.
Also, I see no reason that all pensions shouldn't start at the age determined by the National Insurance Scheme -- it follows if they don't have enough money and need to raise the pensionable age bar, those responsible for getting us all into this mess should share the burden. Hey-- if it's successful we can export to idea to other countries who look like they would be in similar messes with the growing aging population and less contributing working people.
Just saw this on A friend's Facebook page-- says it all about productivity really!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Justice or Revenge

So the mother of Fiona Singh, who was gunned down in Cummings Lodge with her child partly due to her insistence that her 'businessman' child-father collect her while he was suspected of taking out another 'businessman' a few weeks earlier, is calling for justice for her child and grandchild.  I am old enough to remember the old people saying 'ya play wid fire, ya gun get burn'.
In this topsy-turvy place that is Guyana, is Fiona Singh 'entitled' to Justice?? Why should time, resources and money be spent on someone hellbent on bucking the system? Usually the 'out' in Guyana is that those concerned migrate to be model citizens in other countries, but this is a new development. Like Hammie Green calling for more accountability and less corruption in the Government-- does he really have a right to mouth that? Granted that most of his victims have died or moved on with their lives, surely those with blood on their hands should just shut-up or be investigated for Crimes against humanity and not try to set themselves as the Moral Police. This place ain't easy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Heeding the siren

So just a block away from this sign a car speeding up on Lamaha St. apparently did not heed the siren of a Fire Engine on the way to a reported fire. The Fire engine driver swerved to avoid hitting the car and instead hit an electricty pole, the recently concrete-reinforced bridge from Thomas-land to Lamaha St ending up in the Lamaha Canal.

So, Desrey Fox's son apparently didn't heed the siren, neither the truck driver transporting Mr Simon in the recent case involving the Presidential convoy and now the driver of the car involved.  Do these people even know there is a rule of the Road?
I get annoyed enough about slow drivers pulling out in front of me from a side-street when there is a large empty stretch behind me-- I still feel there should be some sort of intelligence test incorporated in the Driving Test!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Policing in Guyana

In my Lord help us blog;postID=7410305210356302846
I noted that declining moral values, along with poorer school graduates would lead to poorer quality applicants to join the disciplined forces; so it is with dismay that I note that within the last few days a woman Police constable has been held for shoplifting chocolates and CD's, another for using the Force's vehicle illegally and killing an elderly woman by dangerous driving and the forces at Enmore choosing to do nothing about a Noise nuisance right on their doorstep!  Depressingly, even the acting Top Cop has been fingered as benefiting from Drug Proceedings but in a peculiar reverse Psychology, those responsible for appointing are stubbornly holding out for making the the appointment official thereby impeding the free exchange of policing information between Guyana and the 'first-world' countries.
This would not be so disastrous if we had alternate source of finance to run our economy-- like all the illegal gold, or an Oil industry-- but seeing as we have to go crawling for their largesse to just keep afloat it means the fragile hold on Law and Order in Guyanese society will be stretched even more.
Update- two women arguing over a food stall in Stabroek market ( they shoulda be home cooking!) - one produces a gun, the gunwoman's male companion comes over and slaps the other female to the ground and when the downed woman's male friend gets out of the car to assist he gets shot in the head by the said male-- who turns out to be a Policeman: -- stories in Guyana's Newspapers are usually about 65-85% right- and of course it's the slapped woman's story!
I have had a young man claiming to be a policeman attempt to bully me on the road when I had the Right-of-way - he and his companion sped up to pull out into my lane because of a badly parked car in their way. I of course switched off my engine and shouted to them to back up. There was a bit of a stand-off, resulting in the youngish guy coming to tell me he was a Policeman and he was going to call his traffic department friends. Sigh.
And so it's mind-boggling that the President would back off from help from the Brits on Planning and Training but just wanting weaponery-- I mean the GRA improved a lot after they went in - even down to staff attitudes to the Public (;postID=3998476548665248381)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reposting-- someone's observation of The Green Thing

In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.  

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The checkout responded, "That's our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."
He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. 
Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled. 
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. 
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocers and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go half a mile. 

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. 

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. 

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the Wales . 

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. 

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. 

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. 

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a tap when we were thirsty instead of a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. 

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. 

But we didn't have the green thing back then. 

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. 

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. 
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.