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Red! Red! and more Red!


On my way to Mespo foh church last Sunday morning, ah must have crossed over fifty vehicles, mainly mini vans packed like sardines, ah talking bout ah tin ah sardine long ago, dat uses to be packed wid de lickle fishes and just ah drop ah olive oil to preserve dem. Today ah tin ah sardine got two fishes and ah gallon ah ‘soy oil’. But de vans on Sunday like de had blazing Fire inside, just Red and more Red, heading foh de ULP con-vince-shun! Wid all ah dat Red dat ah passed ah swore dat de Come-Red was going to announce de Elect-shun date, but he didn’t.{{more}} Even Lie-Za was saying dat she glad Gone-soft did not announce de date, because NDP should know by now, dey got ah lot ah wuk to do.

Lie-Za was present, she say like dey were expecting to see ah face like Sir James. But based on de photos ah saw on Face book, including some 400 photographs put up by Kenton Chance, de crowd was massive! Ah lot ah young people, everybody like dey was on ah high, but den again, we love to poze foh ah photo! De crowd cheering as de Actors on stage providing all de entertainment dey wanted.

Ah remained stuck to my computer monitor foh ah while, and like de naughty lickle boy who did run away from Scotland, where he wondered! I too, sat in my seat and I wondered, den ah wandered way, way back to de Summer of 64 (AD), when de great Rome Empire dat comprised of fourteen Districts, was set on Fire and burned foh six days and seven nights, at de end just four Districts remained standing. Dat was de Fire foh which Emperor Nero became infamously known as the Emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned”. Dey was ah lot ah speculations about who started dat Fire dat left half ah million people homeless. Nero was ah prime suspect, it was rumoured dat Nero wanted to rebuild SVG oops, dat should be, Nero wanted to rebuild Rome in ah new style more to his liking, so de old Empire was set on Fire, whern he was allegedly seen on de roof of ah building playing his Fiddle, well Fiddling away.

Destroying his country was not beyond Nero as he has left us ah well-documented history of brutality. He murdered ah lot ah people close to him, including of all persons, his mother! He blamed de Christians foh setting Rome on Fire, as ah consequence he murdered (crucifying and burning) thousands of Christian Believers. Actually de Christians did start ah Fire in Rome and beyond. Way-so-ever dey went de Gospel of Christ spread like wild Fire, Spiritual Fire. Nero’s determination to destroy Christianity, only succeeded in making de Religion explode.

But Nero had ah bit of humanity in him, he had fancied himself as some kind of ah culture man, singer/musician. He “loved” to sing and was famed foh playing de fiddle or violin. De violin was not around den, so it was decided dat he played another string-instrument, ah Lyre (not ah liar). He coordinated festivals that featured musical competitions on such dates that he could attend and compete in them all; and of course dey was only one winner. Nero was not an easy man to deal wid. He hosted one man concerts, where he alone performed foh hours, boring like hell but no one dared get up and leave. Reminds us of some press con-friends in SVG at which local reporters remain subjected to Nero’s Fiddling!

One historian Mary Francis Gyles, was very sympathetic to Nero and concluded dat his fiddling may not have anything to do with music at all, but rather is a “metaphor” for his ineffectiveness as ah Ruler. Fiddling is like avoiding de real issues and expending energy on useless and misguided projects. Dis is not unknown to us in SVG, in fact Fiddling has become ah characteristic of successive Governments in SVG, and ah dare say de region, de ailing OECS e-con-ah-me is ah great example.

Dat was what kept me in my seat wandering as ah watched de ULP Con-vince-shun photos. Hundreds ah youths decked in burning Red flames as de Neros sat on de platform playing Fiddle foh dem. Nothing was said about addressing de burning issues, de rampant unemployment situation dat exists among de youths demselves! Nothing bout de Murders, Nothing about de frightening figures foh Rape. Even our own Jomo has become ah doubting Thomas and is challenging de UN figures on Rape in SVG. Nothing on Abuse of our women! De PM wants us to believe dat ah Police Officer, widout instructions from above, will walk into ah school and arrest ah Teacher on charges dat had to be dropped! No word of caution to workers dat three businesses closed last month, another three is up foh sale or will close shortly. Did we hear any Fiddler playing dem kind ah music or singing dem kind ah lyrics? Last Sunday’s Con-vince-shun was not about de serious and important issues. It was ah time to show off de Red! Red! And more Red! Ah hope dey all Red-E! And wid dat is gone ah gone again!

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.