Thursday, October 22, 2009

Securing *Their* Future

Having the PLP's convention coincide with the end of what will soon become known as the "first Travolta trial," was certainly an eye-opener, because it became evident that no matter who is nominally in charge of the government, and no matter how theoretically independent our judiciary is, the strings still come together at the claws the yellow and blue and black crab. I must therefore commend Senior Justice Anita Allen, for she refused to give in to the pressure, when she discharged the jury and ordered a retrial.

The FNM mocked the PLP convention, I fear out of a routine reflex, but was nonetheless spot on. Their statement read, "The PLP was unable to decide on a theme. One minute it was 'securing the future.' This means their own future and careers, certainly not the future of the Bahamian people." (The Bahama Journal, 22 October 2009, p. 1.)

How else is one to explain that at least one jury member sworn to not discuss the case with anyone but their fellow jury members informs the convention of the state of the ongoing deliberations? How else is one to explain that a political convention offers their thanks to god when Picewell Forbes announced to the hypnotised crowd, "Pleasant is a free woman, PLPs! God is good, PLPs! Pleasant is a free woman!"

Remember, Pleasant Bridgewater and Tarino Lightbourne are charged with attempting to extort $25,000,000 from John Travolta, and while it is true that one should be considered innocent until proven guilty, the question of innocence versus guilt was not what got Forbes excited, it was the prospect of Bridgewater walking free and continuing her PLP career.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shakespeare in Paradise?

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a local bar having a few happy hour drinks with friends and acquaintances, when I met one British expat. Someone in our round asked him how long he's been here, where he used to live before, etc. The usual routine. Then, when they were losing interest in his pre-Bahamas life story, they indicated so by making one final statement, "Well, it must have been quite a culture shock for you when you first came here."

His answer was nothing but brilliant. "No, I think of it more as a lack-of-culture shock," said he.

Immediately, some of the Bahamians present were quite offended and attempted a defense of their country, but to no avail, as quickly it became clear that we do lack a genuine, year-round cultural variety.

However, this is not to say that the Bahamas has no culture, and it is not to say that our cultural calendar does not have highlights. This week is one such highlight, when we are invited to - what are we doing, by the way... celebrate, partake, attend - the first "Shakespeare in Paradise" theatre festival.

Apart from the name, which I genuinely hope is ironic, because I would hate to think that the bright minds behind this festival have joined the scores of drones at the Ministry of Tourism who constantly reduce the Bahamas to a stereotypical paradise and refuse to confront reality, I trust that this programme will indeed satisfy a cultural appetite that is usually not well catered to in our islands. Therefore, I shall encourage my readers to go purchase their tickets.

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.