I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too/I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you
I look a you all I see the love that’s there sleeping
From George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Grynberg was never just another political ticket to ride.
No more so than were—and are!—Rochamel, Helenair, Helenites, NCA, Flemming, Frenwell and yes, Jessica! These names that in the ear of the uninformed might suggest rock bands or groups of folk singers are in actuality closer related to Mafia monikers. They speak loudly and unforgettably about the stewardship of some of our more prominent sons and daughters who over the last several years had been entrusted with the development of a nation almost bereft of natural resources—and who had sworn on the bible to do in their power to keep us safe from all harm so help them God!
Like primordial innocents on their scarred knees before stone gods, the people took to referring reverentially to their elevated brethren as “honorable” and “our leaders!” In truth, the above euphemistic brand names represent some of the most blatant betrayals ever visited on a largely poor and uneducated, deprived, trusting and naive people by their more fortunate brethren, among them some who profess infallibility, doubtless derived from their assumed close links with the Almighty.
Yes, we’re talking here about suited-up con artists masquerading as modern-day prophets and shamen—unconscionable shysters, ravenous wolves preying on defenseless lambs.
If indeed there are lessons to be learned from the nauseating details of Grynberg and the cited other perfumed abuses of office, it is that when we imagined nothing could be worse than the colonials, we were way off base. For the undeniable truth is that no betrayal can be worse than that of brother against sister and sister against brother and friend against friend. Meanwhile, like George Harrison’s famous guitar, Helen gently weeps!
Several days ago, I took a call from one of my best frenemies. Evidently he remains unaware that his vampire fangs have long outgrown the confines of his plastic smile. On the occasion he simply could not resist the need to let me know “dah Grynberg ting eh goin’ nowhere; you wastin’ your fuckin’ time writing all dat shit for dem UWPs.”
So I said: “Well, where exactly do you imagine my articles are meant to go anyway? I write primarily for the record and leave it to literate citizens such as yourself to do as you wish with the supplied information. Besides, what you so nicely articulated is precisely what I was told back in the day, when I took on the country’s most feared politician and wrote a series of articles about his affair with a schoolgirl. I was told the same thing about Rochamel and Helenair, that the stories would go nowhere . . .”
Never comfortable with verifiable tidbits, my abruptly impatient frenemy said: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all about that but Grynberg eh in the same bracket as dem other things . . .”
I could not resist putting the boot to his exposed ass: “Including de pusher in the House?” I asked.
Then, just this week I heard two gloating, familiar voices in turn assuring one of our more amenable talk-radio hosts that “dah Grynberg ting dead arready. It dun backfire on dem UWPs bigtime . . . Now Stephanie Queen want to offload it fas-fas-fas. Way messieurs!”
Of course, the notoriously omniscient host predictably “knew all along those guys were mishandling the story hahahaha.”
He betrayed not the least concern that at the root of the issue was the all-important matter of governance. His and his callers’ one prayer was that their sonofabitch should once again elude tetchy demanders of accountability for his time in office. After all, when as the nation’s chief lawmaker he had usurped the authority of the governor general, he was, by some measures, “well intentioned.” As well intentioned as when, unknown to his “controlled” cabinet and parliament, he had mercilessly engaged in a transaction that had cost the nation multi-millions of dollars. In the particular case, he and his satellites had rationalized his actions as follows: “Okay, so what he did was wrong. But the country got a hotel out of it that now employs over 300 taxpaying Saint Lucians.”
Equally justified would be a murderous bank robber, if he handed over his loot to a favorite charity and kept not a cent for himself. In current-day Wonderland-inspired Saint Lucian politics everything is justifiable. As justifiable as was violence in the Allan Louisy-George Odlum era of local politics—reminders of which are the burglar bars on the doors and windows of so many business houses in the city center.
Pointless denying it, folks, not only are the chickens falling over themselves as they rush home to roost, the earlier cited unconscionable rats no longer wait for the cover of darkness to do their ratty thing. Emboldened by their numbers that by now easily overwhelm the tired pussycat-guards, the rodent marauders fearlessly attack the nation’s soul. From their vantage, the country has turned topsy-turvy. The new nation is bereft of beliefs. All that it once denounced as false and wrong and destructive has become embraceable and true and right and progressive. Rats rule the night—and day.
Suddenly I am reminded of Michael ‘Gaboo’ Alexander. When for reasons unknown he was at Pigeon Point Beach butchering a young man named Brian Joseph a little after 10 p.m., and was warned by a panicking member of his crew that they risked being caught by patrolling police, Gaboo had famously quipped: “What police? I am the fucking police!”
Still you may ask, dear reader, How did we get here? If there is a short answer, it is that too many of us have cowardly accepted the notion that there is indeed safety in numbers, albeit criminal numbers. For too long, too many of us have lived according to the if-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em lesser evilist’s philosophy. And now it is almost impossible to elect a lawmaker to parliament who had never been charged by the police with some level of crime, whether rape or ID fraud or wife battering or traffic violations.
Some candidates for office who have never actually been charged with a crime, escaped only because the evidence did not quite make it to the guilty without a doubt standard required to sustain criminal charges. Which is not to say they were never indicted, if only by an officially appointed tribunal. Even as I write, I am mentally counting the numbers on both sides of our political divide who are either themselves tainted or are close enough to suspect parties to give pause to the electorate. But then, what am I saying when I know full well the greater number on our voter’s lists are in on the game and can hardly wait to yet again turn their ti croix into dollars.
As I observed in an earlier dispatch, in this man’s town credibility depends not on the veracity of what is said or written. Rather, it depends on the color of the judge’s shirt. In some eyes, nothing is credible that paints the government in a positive light, in much the same way that in other eyes the opposition is always demonic. Not even the Taiwanese ambassador is safe. He has been painted in the colors of Satan by a group well known for its peculiar ability to demonize even its former saints. The reverse is
equally true. All it takes is a dip in the water under the bridge.
In the last analysis, the Saint Lucia that had once reminded an imaginative observer of Helen of Troy has metamorphosed into a war zone, its citizens having long ago declared war against themselves.
Alas, we have become nation doomed by its own hand!