Since returning from my three-month sabbatical, I have been finding life on this rock we call home to be a real struggle. I have tried my best to refrain from commenting on the numerous instances of outrageous, silly behaviour and criminal acts in the news, be it on social or in mainstream media.
Unfortunately, the sabbatical did not prepare me to confront the major challenge of watching institution after institution fail. Confronting that challenge was no walk around the Savannah and I find it impossible to continue to watch my nation crumble and remain silent.
The last straw came when, in Parliament last week, the PM challenged the UNC’s Roodal Moonilal to “meet me on the pavement.” Immediately, the late Mr Patrick Manning’s words came to mind: “The man is a raging bull.”
Although silent, I have been noting the sorry excuses which have been passing for governance as well as the continuing charade between the Yellow Gang and the Red Gang. Of course, there was the recent passing of the Anti-Gang Bill, which saw both groups colluding to pass the perceived panacea for the crime which has been haunting us. That both gangs could agree on this as the solution to the nation’s crime woes is a clear demonstration of the intellectual bankruptcy which permeates the hallowed halls of this nation’s Parliament.
It is clear that neither side understands the numerous subcultures across this nation: the criminal subculture, the police subculture, the white collar criminal subculture, the prison subculture.
If they are of the view that legislation will eventually bring about change, they need look no further than the recent law banning the use of cell phones while driving.
“This Anti-Gang bill is nothing more,” a colleague of mine noted, “than banana republic-style governance to replace respect for law with State abuse of human and civil rights for no purpose.”
I cannot help but recall the recent SoE. As we speak, several persons who were arrested during that SoE are currently being awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars by the nation’s courts simply because the authorities abused their power. Ironically, the arresting personnel remain the same, a clear reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
While on sabbatical, I observed a continuing trend as it relates to schoolchildren fighting while a useless, geriatric Minister of Education constantly seeks to do damage control. Such fights, combined with the recent bullish “meet me on the pavement” response in Parliament from the PM, prompted me to recommend to the Ministry of Education (MoE) that “fighting” be officially added to the curriculum.
For starters, students arguably demonstrate a greater interest in fighting than in anything else. And it is well known that students pay greater attention to topics in which they are interested, which makes both teaching and learning easier.
Why, we should ask, don’t we see such fights when students are out of uniform?
Teaching kids to fight will bring positive results. First and foremost, it will reduce the murder rates, thereby assisting in crime reduction. Kids who learn to fight no longer need to shoot or stab one another or employ any type of weapon in their defence of self. Everyone knowing how to fight will also serve as a deterrent to fights, which is the argument advanced in favour of everyone owning a firearm.
Furthermore, I have every reason to believe that adding “fighting” to the curriculum can make a meaningful contribution to fulfilment of the long overdue promise to diversify the economy. Fighting as a competitive sport can increase forex as we export kick-boxers, martial artists, tae kwon do artists, WMA wrestlers, boxers, stick-fighters, etc.
Evidently, not everyone will be interested in learning how to fight; such persons will definitely learn how to run, thereby producing potential track and field athletes. And, of course, in learning to fight, one must adopt the proper attitude. This provides justification for teaching a second language: Obscene. Do students, for example, know the difference between “Ask your mother” and “Ax yuh mudder”?
And, of course, the ILP’s Jack Warner can be given a contract to develop the syllabus!
Students who generally record the fights can also learn videography, having demonstrated that they have the potential to become professional reporters and journalists. And then there are the select few who might attempt to break up these fights, thus demonstrating the potential to become community leaders.
The vast majority, however, are the students who look on and egg the fighters on; they have the potential to become professional cheerleaders and be employed as ambassadors to support Windies whenever and wherever there is a game—although, by the time they graduate, Windies may have nothing at all to cheer about.
And, of course, those who manage to rise to the top of the food chain can always become leaders and business people who can either smash glasses into their colleagues’ faces or challenge anyone who opposes them to “meet me on the pavement.”
Let’s all hope that Mr Moonilal takes the PM up on his offer—or, perhaps more accurately, calls the Rottweiller’s bluff.
Then perhaps all 41 will at last be where, it seems, on current performance, they really belong.
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