Like most millennials, I spend an embarrassing amount of time on the Internet. I find it difficult to keep away when the worldwide web is like an ocean of information right at my fingertips. If I am not surfing in search of good stuff, I passively scroll along social media where occasionally I bump into something worthy of a laugh. On Boxing Day, for instance, I happened upon a video entitled “Comedian Disses St Lucia”. Naturally, I fell to temptation. I clicked.
A female comedian who, on said video looked about five-feet-four started: “We went on our honeymoon in Saint Lucia and, uh, I had never even heard of Saint Lucia before I booked the trip; it just sounded real fancy. I’m like ‘Ooooh Saint Luciaaa!’ Book it!” She wiggled her hips and clicked her imaginary mouse. “I thought it was going to be all luxurious, white sandy beaches and, like, beautiful, clear water,” she went on. “We landed. It was actually kind of a little Third Worldy; felt more like a mission’s trip. Thought we were gonna build a well before we left . . . but it’s nice!” she sing-songed.
The few, mumbled laughs from her audience was more than I could offer. I understand the mechanics of a good joke and not taking things too seriously, but said joke was anything but funny. Ah, but I imagine some may have laughed at the talentless wannabe comedian.
I clicked to the comments. And although I’m no prude, used as I am to the language of anonymous internet trolls, the reviews from Saint Lucian sources made me consider confession. I mean, my fellow Saint Lucians ripped this female comedian to shreds, levelling at her every expletive, every obscenity you never heard of; in English and in Creole. One comment even comprised a few lines of our national anthem, in bold capitals. Another wrote: “DON’T TALK ABOUT MY PEOPLE’S COUNTRY LIKE THAT!”
The video has garnered 60,000+ views since it was posted to social media on December 25, even though, as it turns out, it was videotaped about five years ago.
The entire ordeal reminded me of two similar roast sessions: firstly, when Clara Wiggins, a British writer, in her article ‘Running Away to a Caribbean island: Trust Me, It’s Not a Parenting Paradise’, published by the Washington Post in July, referred to Saint Lucia, among other things, as ‘claustrophobic’. The second roast occurred this past October, while Hurricane Maria headed toward Florida after barrelling through the Caribbean. Marc Simmans posted a status on Facebook that read in part: “Dear Weather Channel, Please stop showing flattened bungalows in Third World countries that are built to the same specs as two of the three little pigs houses . . .” His post was screen captured and circulated.
In both instances Caribbean nationals far and wide viciously defended sweet Helen and her sister isles. Still, the well thought out rebuttals aimed at Wiggins and Simmans were no match for the venom hurled at the earlier cited comedian whose name, I later learned via some who were determined to find and publicize the woman’s identity, is Anjelah Johnson. There is no telling what her social media inboxes must look like if persons were willing to be so ruthless on a public platform.
Under Johnson’s video clip one person asked: “Why are so many Lucians mad? What y’all should be mad about is y’all Government selling y’all Country.” Obviously that commenter is not only grossly misinformed, but inadvertently funny to boot. More than might be said about Ms Johnson! To my mind, anyway!