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Daly Bread: The mudda count phenomenon and our sliding standards of behaviour

Massive: that is the extent of the opportunity presented by “Massive” Gosine’s “Rowlee Mudda Count.” It is an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about taste and standards in public and cultural life.

It does not matter whose count is referenced. The central issue is whether the unrelenting references to female genitals and cuss words—however cleverly disguised in double entendre—should be part of our cultural life.

Photo: Soca chutney singer Nermal “Massive” Gosein.

Wine on a bumsee, the simulated sex that frequently follows, along with the encouragement to have it are now firmly embedded in Carnival. It is mindlessly peddled as ‘we culture’. “Massive” fits snugly in there.

I have not turned puritanical for the New Year but a lot of this topic reflects what we are teaching our children and yet expect them to behave with the same level of propriety or restraint as did the generations that were in existence at the time of our Independence. We have been on a path of inter-generational destruction for a long time.

Everything seems excusable if someone else did or said something similarly gross, particularly if that person belongs to a rival ethnic group or political party.

Accordingly, this controversy has taken the usual sterile focus of whether the infliction of genital lyrics is justified by one group if another group inflicted those lyrics previously. Sadly, therefore, the “Massive” opportunity is already lost.

We ought also to be re-considering our tolerance of the sharp fall in standards of behaviour of those whom we put in public office. That fall, is part and parcel of the mudda count phenomenon—tolerance of which is pervasive.

My fellow columnist Selwyn Cudjoe recently analysed the degeneration of our society. In my respectful view, he accurately explained that “the behaviour and language of our leaders is a product of a common zeitgeist.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC.
(Copyright Power102fm)

I have lamented for decades the chronic failures of leadership and the lack of a common objective to make our country a better place for all. We have indeed acquired a negative zeitgeist or social climate.

While lamenting the lack of a positive example from our leaders, Professor Cudjoe concludes: “Thus, it is not the characteristic of the individuals who find themselves in leadership positions that we should focus on but the internal social factors that shape their behaviour. They are neither better nor worse than those around them.”

Nevertheless, can we afford to go into the New Year with the office of Chief Justice compromised by allegations against the incumbent and carrying forward what is likely to be a lengthy battle to attempt to retrieve his reputation?

Despite the enabling “internal social factors” that have led to this difficulty, there is grave danger in accepting a situation whereby the head of the Judiciary is–or appears to be–beholden to the political executive or state agencies for benefits granted to third parties. The Cabinet lawyers must have read a different book on the separation of powers than the rest of us have.

This crisis of confidence in the Judiciary has revealed some typical blindness to the degeneration of governance. A silly few seek to dilute the allegations using the same old mixture of race and alleged parity of wrongdoing of others previously.

Photo: Chief Justice and JLSC chairman Ivor Archie.

I must also identify with those who have put the Telecommunications Authority in its place. The Authority made a thinly veiled threat to broadcasters calculated to intimidate them into blanking the Massive song and can’t fool us into believing anything else. It tripped over its irrelevance in the age of immediate digital access to “banned” items.

Bans don’t work; by-in to different leadership standards will.

The mudda count phenomenon is so obviously tied into a breakdown of respect for one another and of civilised behaviour. One consequence of this is the loss of any semblance of beneficial social order, reflected, for example, by the 494 murders of last year, 2017, and the five that occurred immediately the New Year dawned.

Each New Year in our Republic is nothing more than a repetitious hangover of problems from the  preceding years.  Actually, is everything doh count—including human life.

Is so long time now.

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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36 comments

  1. Let me hear what Massive G & his massive supporters will feel & says about Impulse reply to Massive G. PS: This is not the way a country should be – DIVIDED

  2. Impulse have one now on massive mother hmm and the beat goes on

    • This was expected.
      Next thing is for Glasgow to organise an extempo competition with Massive and whoever else,and the topic must be about everybody Mudda so we can show the World what our culture is about.

  3. I heard a differentiation between previous calypsos and this song. It explained that they were on news issues for example, Oma’s bank account and Panday’s unbelievable ignorance, or Hulsie blocking the highway with a parent carrying their child to the hospital. Those are issues in the public domain where one can have an opinion and freely express it yea or nay. Rowley’s mother has never been a news item or entered in the public arena. Gosine is disrespectful, and reminds one of the cowardly disrespectful and racist UNC attack on Dr Rowley’s parents in parliament. That song is way, way offside.

  4. How is the Golden Rule applied here? Or, is it too high a standard to live by?

  5. “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, ” Isaiah.49.6 Ohh,it’s genitals.Sorry,mistake.

  6. Better Martin Daly than me, yes

  7. I don’t like Rowley and I still think this racist should get the heat

  8. All this cultural self examination is like staring in the mirror, but never combing your hair.
    At this point I think we get it, we fogged up, what now?