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Now convinced about these ‘Internet Crazies’

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Fri Aug 15, 2014

Editor: When the President of the United States revolutionized the social media and online applications and used them as tools to become the 44th president of that country, I bet he didn’t think that today, that this same strategy would have birthed “Internet Crazies.” Similarly, when Mark Zuckerberg et al conceptualized the social media platform Facebook, maybe they, in a drunken stupor of ecstasy, failed to consider the ramifications of their creation.{{more}} I was one of the first Vincentians to raise eyebrows when Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves coined the phrase “Internet Crazies” and it at first seemed to me another political low blow by the PM, until I really started analyzing things from an arm’s length.

Vincentians are in a virtual war online. There are no prisoners and no referee. Each political party has within its virtual camp an army of leg soldiers whose duty it seems is to engage constantly in a fight back of “tit for tat” on every issue pertaining to or emanating from St Vincent and the Grenadines. A political professor said: “Politics is everything but not everything is politics,” but this is lost on the so called Internet Crazies. For to be at war with your own flesh and blood simply over divergent political views must come from a place deeper than political party support. The venomous hate written must flow from a place that is unreachable by light, hidden by the shadows of a deeper psychological twitch that poisons the soul. For sure, for some, this is mere entertainment and gamesmanship to pass long cold winters or hot summers, but the Vincentians whom they profess to speak up for, are by and large clueless of those who fight in their name for vainglory.

As such, the diaspora seems to be in political turmoil at temperatures far exceeding that on the ground. The local to overseas calls ratio to daily political talk shows is one such bit of evidence. In one camp, there is a talk about a pervasive spirit of fear or indifference in the land. On the other hand, there is a held notion that Vincentians are now politically mature and reflective rather than boisterous about the state of the Vincentian political economy. As the “truth” is relative, one’s view maybe determined by if you are an apple or grapes person.

Yet, I would like to think that there is a sizeable majority of Vincentians who really like oranges. They remain allergic to that dish of intolerance and hatred that both camps serve at the altar of political expediency. The masses go about their ordinary course of life, despondent about the politics of the minority that is vulgar, riotous, corruptive and slanderous. It cannot be healthy for politics to be a menu flavoured with diatribe each day and night in such a small country. One must muster sufficient energy to keep the fire burning which may very well have caused the fuel surcharge to increase. Similarly, an incessant ringing of a bell not only disturbs the peace, but drowns out the sound for mature dialogue, constructive criticism and sober analysis of the way forward.

IS ELECTIONS THE SOLUTION?

Let’s assume that an election takes place in December 2014 or shortly thereafter; the results are announced, party x or y wins; would that bring some finality to the present madness? Would both parties oblige to take their political talk shows off air for at least a month so that nation building can take place? Our democratic conventions wouldn’t allow it, would be the response. In other words, we would prefer to rip this nation apart, all for individual “rights” of free hate speech, rather than to bridle our lips to knit it together, thus securing our collective rights. For the chorus to “put your country before your party” is only a sweet refrain for entertainment, but rarely makes its way into our national politics.

And if the new style political terrorism occurring online is just a dose of what is to come, St Vincent as calypsonian Man Age sang, would have already seen her best days.

Mighty Chalkdust instructively sang in his “Too many parties” composition in 1997:

This thing call PNM, this thing call UNC

It is one sort of dotishness, to mamaguy you and me

It ain’t have no colour, it ain’t have no race

It ain’t have no principles for any values that it raise.

And it was never meant to be, the answer for unity

It shares no philosophy with any consistency

For when you watch the pedigree, in each and every party

The difference you see, turns out to be, a case of power and money.

Adaiah Providence-Culzac

cemsvg@gmail.com

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