Some things you just gotta have if you don’t want civilized folk believing yours is a community of barbarians. It really doesn’t matter how you go about acquiring the must-haves, whether on your back or on your knees. Deny it if you must, but the irreducible truth is that some of life’s most precious moments are best experienced while stooping!
Hey, how many times has Derek Walcott spelled out that particular message? No, not the stooping to conquer part. I’m referring to what separates the civilized from the barbarian beast: an appreciation of art.
How many times have local politicians, red and yellow, promised during their election campaigns to find some other use for what currently passes for the nation’s main cultural center? Some with particularly good memories will dare to remind me that John Compton had delivered something in Walcott’s name at the back of some hotel somewhere up north. No need to go further with that joke.
It’s not a laughing matter, however, that O Starry, Starry Night had to open at one makeshift place and then transferred in the middle of its run to another makeshift venue, all due to rain.
How absolutely ridiculous that the birthplace of the universally acknowledged “greatest writer in the English language,” not to say renowned poet and playwright, cannot boast of a single theater worthy of his oeuvre and his presence. Just the other day Walcott was publicly bemoaning the fact that Saint Lucia “does not deserve its great artists!”
The particular shortcoming totals to an insult to the nation, if not a hard slap in the face of our generally revered Nobel laureate. More pointedly, it tends to support the ostensible absurdity that we are still closer to the bush that we care to admit.
Ah, but not for much longer, if we can rely on the expressed word of our trusted prime minister, recently returned from his first visit to the Tomchouland, aka Taiwan. True, he did not go so far as to give us a start-up date. He even avoided the word “immediately” when he made his televised announcement. Neither did he say “as soon as . . .”
Nevertheless our prime minister has assured us the good people of Taiwan are ready yet again to dip into their own Consolidated Fund so we might have an opportunity to free up, in more conducive surroundings, the Nobel laureate in all of us.
Come to think about it, the prime minister did promise that “as soon as” some architectural requirements have been met, President Ma will do what needs to be done in the name of local culture. From all I’ve been told, a serious bro-mance has developed between the Taiwanese gift dispenser and the local gift receiver.
I wonder how President Ma might feel should our prime minister decide for once to reposition himself at the giving end. I can think of no better way to demonstrate to the Taiwanese people his immeasurable appreciation for all they have done for us over the last several years.
Of course, it would have to be a gift that keeps on giving, and representative of what the two leaders have in common: a great love of culture and law. Ah, yes, I think I know the perfect gift. How about Tony Astaphan with a brand new Caribbean-man’s nose, nicely wrapped in banana leaves?