“The thing about bouffs, though, is that they are a peculiarly ineffective means of communication. Often, they roll right off the back of the person at whom they are directed. In worst-case scenarios, such as when they come from a President, they can draw lines in the sand and raise monkey glands.
“Just refer back to the Price vs the President situation.”
The following Letter to the Editor, provoked by President Paula-Mae Weekes’ media release in response to PLOTT, was submitted to Wired868 by Sharon Bradshaw.
Yesterday’s presidential media release, unfortunately titled “Erroneous Social Media Message,” caused me to raise one eyebrow as I listened to it being read on the midday news. It was the tone of the final paragraph that got my full attention. Never mind the big words, any Trinbagonian would recognise the intent of this sentence:
. . . Her Excellency is greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication, particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.
She bouff we!
I decided that this warranted a look at the Office of the President’s website.
There were other messages on that site that are accessible and the tone is warm: Michelle-Lee Ahye is referred to as “a shero” and kudos are sent to her “mummy;” succinct background context is provided to help readers understand the topics, such as the swearing-in of a Fair Trade Commissioner or the Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal.
Some are written in the first person and some of the President’s perspectives may be discerned from them. As an example, on the occasion of Shouter Baptist Liberation Day, the presidential message characterises that faith as “miles ahead of traditional religion in recognising women in high office.”
For those reasons as well as because of the use of language, I have concluded that the President has authored these messages herself.
I take it, therefore, that the bouff came from her. In that sense, I’m taking it personally.
Here is my translation: “Ent I tell allyuh to use social media responsibly?! Don’t let me get vex here, eh!”
I’m really feeling it for the President. The exasperation that motivates a bouff is never far from everyday life in Trinbago. And the bouff-reflex is easy to reach for. In her use of bouff-talk, President Weekes is acting in accordance with precedent. Think back to President Carmona’s ill-fated face-off with Rachel Price.
The thing about bouffs, though, is that they are a peculiarly ineffective means of communication. Often, they roll right off the back of the person at whom they are directed. In worst-case scenarios, such as when they come from a President, they can draw lines in the sand and raise monkey glands.
Just refer back again to the Price vs the President situation.
We in Trinbago-land are a peculiar and special bunch of people; we love you if you know how to narrow the us/them divide and play on our strengths. President Hassanali did an excellent job of that.
And we not taking it just so if you try to diss us; we not taking bouff.
In the ongoing, underground work of uniting the Trinbago people, the Office of the President has a unique role to play. I think President Weekes has both a clear sense of history and a clear sense of purpose as regards achieving this unifying mission.
But I hope she rethinks the use of bouff-talk.