Angry Sheep

“Honest disagreement is often a sign of progress.” Gandhi.

I’m really angry, like really mad. It might be a shift in my body chemistry from a refreshing cleanse I did recently involving an undeserved lack of caffeine which may have set me off. I have a temper I admit and have enjoyed pressing buttons since I was a wee tot, but its usually more impassioned than vindictive.

I’m not alone, the world is spitting mad, there is a jagged and heated edge to the news and on the blogosphere. Whether it be the influx of protests, ISIS, Mexican kidnappings or immigration reform. The media is saturated with the usual hyperbole and hyper active reports. I’m pretty sick of hearing about most, especially the Michael Brown case. In my view,  he was a young man who mad e many bad decisions and this led to his unfair demise by an idiot cop who’s actions are justly punishable. Full stop. Not to Americans, the empathy is so heavy it’s self-sustaining at this point and so self-serving it’s hard to watch.

I mean if white collars really want to pander why not go back to the source and focus on Africans who are actually doing something on a massive developing continent. Being ignorant to such people, I punched in African charitable heroes and it was a difficult find. Surely these folks deserve a little hysteria? BBC news is one of the only networks that has a program focused on African voices (oh the irony) and those that deserve to be heard, as opposed to the American martyrdom of a teenager who, forgive me, committed a minor crime. It’s a forced race war in a country that needs such things the least. I can only think of Dr. King with his unwavering dignity and self-possession, what would he think of the violence, blame and patronization saturating the popular news and social networks? Having grown up in a diverse population where we all derive from ethnically varied gene pools, I find the American reactions slightly laughable. West Indians have been trying to get along for half a millennium, still we don’t hate each other that way…much. Most of the hate is in customer service anyway.

I also won’t support someone just for the color of their skin but rather because I care what they have to say. To truly unify is to understand each other beyond biology, but rather where we’ve been and where we want to go. Disagreements are healthy, though “he who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.” A’ la Nietzsche. 

Our Trinbagonian forms of protest are much less incensed, we eat and drink alcohol while pretty much losing the cause at hand. Other modes of contention involve not working, sitting outside with pillows and umbrellas, starving or just walking around a park for abstract issues that don’t particularly speak to the real concerns in our small, suffering isle. But at least we get in some cardio. One famous protest, the labour day riots in 1937 was a violent uproar formulated by activist Uriah Buzz Butler, who was crazy. Those days are behind us apparently. Drat. In latin, Revolution means “a turn around” though the word is a passive mode of change these days, it’s more binary than feet on the ground. So I’m for a benevolent revolution, a turn around with a specific directive. As i am argumentative I’ve learned that if you are going to protest at least have an alternative to the disagreement.

I find that lately, the new widely discussed outcry born from local academic Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh; who’s modus operandus involves not eating, has become lazily pointed. In short, he’s protesting a highway that will extend the main highway to south Trinidad into adjoining municipalities, it’s going to cost a bundle and expectedly our corrupt government will siphon and strategically over spend, but it’s a highway that is needed despite it’s devious origins. The protest has become a beacon for uptown sheep looking for a cause, all flaxen haired and ready to nestle into their covered post outside the perpetually-drunk Prime Minster’s, office. The newly formed Project 40 associated with this flock aims to protest outside other government buildings and hold a few hemp influenced sing-alongs in favour of sustainable development, which is awesome and pro-active don’t get me wrong. My issue is with the lack of energy, literally. They plan to all starve for Dr. Wayne. Their FB page states they are, “A group of people who will fast for 40 days in solidarity.” So everyone is going to be lethargic and hungry. How is this a solution, besides grossly insulting the involuntary starving people on this earth? It’s a freaking cleanse like the one I just did. The fuck? Don’t even get me started on the exasperating douche-baggery spouting out of the pretentious VICE magazine who covered this little insatiated parade. VICE is stupid, I hate them. Really, shouldn’t they all eat a sandwich and get their hands dirty filling in the larger cracks in our own fractured infrastructure?

Education, hello? The published literacy rate of Trinidad and Tobago is over 90% but we all know that’s a big ole lie. Truly it’s around 50% and many children are traditionally expelled into a scholastic wasteland due to the archaic Secondary Entry Assessment which lumps all into a compelled learning category.  Some make it, while many do not. We all learn differently but our system could care less. Worse yet, our education minister is a slimy gynecologist who has in the past, allegedly…whoops, corruption silences free speech.

So the solutions? The turn around? Watch Art Connect, a documentary focused on Laventille; a marginalized and impoverish part of Trinidad and the children that attend school within it. The program involved learning through creative and interactive means and the kids featured in the film flourished. They are small revolutionaries and beautiful examples of how minute change can equal huge results. At the premiere of the film, said slimy education minister was there and thankfully met a frosty reception. Shouldn’t we protest his place in government? I’d run around a park 100 times for that.

My mother is an educator and freely gives her time and talent to a charitable learning center where children from areas like Laventille come to learn. Their desks are broken, and right now they need 50 of them. She recently released a statement via Facebook asking for donations for these necessary tools and i noticed it was met with a slow response. Yet Project 40 has over a thousand members and full attendance at their organic sing alongs? What? I’m sorry but education will solve all problems for the future, a re-routed highway will not. Just traffic. There needs to be a shift in energy, and well more energy. Eat you freaks!

There will be no change in our governance for at least a decade, none we can see at least. But nourishing the future generation so they vote in a regime we can be proud of, now that I’m so in to. So if i had to be a sheep I’d join that flock, I’d fill the streets for a desk or two because i know what an impact it could make on one child, and from him or her, the possibilities are well; immeasurable.

Are you angry now?

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