Thursday, July 2, 2009

This emerging summer of madness

THERE has been a growing debate in Grenada about the possible reshuffle of the island’s cabinet that Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has said will come in a matter of days to mark the first anniversary of his party in power.

There has been an unprecedented level of public discussion about the reshuffle – what shape it will take and what that will mean.

Frankly some of the discussions have been inspired by mischief on one hand, petty political spite in other instances, plus the more substantive fight to define and determine the philosophy of this government and party.

It is also being inspired by a genuine concern in many circles that this government has in some ways under achieved in its first year. But the analysis has neither been deep and thorough enough so it is likely to miss the real point.

It has gotten to the place now that what you’d likely to get is a knee jerk reaction that may not fix the inherent problems of this government – and if anything will lay a foundation for dissatisfaction and suspicion.

Unfortunately the seeds are being sown by a process that is not being managed properly, and by a humble arrogance of right, shrouded in constitutional soundness but political naivety.

Only that student of politics will tell us that successful politics is not only about the legal soundness of an action, but how that interfaces with the complex human preferences.

To ignore that – is not only to lose the essence of politics – but the very power it bestows.

For now, I’ll refrain from getting into the name calling – and the fashionable blame game that is consuming this town.

It is pointless because the set up has already taken place, and the dialog has been framed. Both recent history and the current reality have been already painted with a distorted brush.

The debate has not been served well by media colleagues that have not asked the smart questions or look beyond an analysis steeped in only the personal.

There is an emerging summer of madness on which we hope the sun will set, before the rain clouds blow over and the storm washes away the hope of July 8th from just one year ago.

But in this beckoning madness – it’s even frightening to hope.

It is not just money – but good sense – that is in short supply.

NOTES FROM ALL AROUND: So who is conspiring to kill the soca?

NOTES FROM ALL AROUND: So who is conspiring to kill the soca?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So who is conspiring to kill the soca?

BEING IN GRENADA these past few days, I have had a greater opportunity to listen closely to Grenadian radio as they have now turned to an almost complete diet of music related to the island's upcoming carnival.

I have also had the opportunity to visit a couple of local recording studios and listen first-hand to some of the material being prepared there for the festival.

While it is something that has been bothering me for a couple of years now - I am becoming more than satisfied that local Grenadian radio is doing a disservice to both carnival, and its array of promising artistes.

If you were to only listen to most of the stations -- you'd come to the conclusion that there is a less than exciting crop of music this season.

But I am satisfied that it is not as bad as it sounds.

If I was a believer in conspiracy theories, I would have said that some industry players in the radio are part of a wider plot to destabilize Grenadian music.

You listen to the stations and you'd get mostly ill-baked jab-jab laced one- dimensional rhythms with lyrics as empty as Caribbean treasuries and hopelessly pointless.

Indeed that refreshing authentic Grenadian sound is quickly being diluted and short changed -- aided and abetted by people who make choices of what needs to be played on radio that don't have the artistic appreciation nor cultural depth to do so.

SOS someone -- because this is a crisis -- and its slipping fast.

The thing about what the radio is deciding to play -- is that it sets it up as THE standard -- and a lot of the artistes who are capable of much better end up giving the stations -- not the people -- what they want.

Only that could explain how within 12 months Brother B can go from that cheeky infectious song of last season, to a pointless ode to liquor.

(Coming soon on this blog, the 10 most over hyped song of the season that aint worth it; and the 10 songs that should have been played more).