Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2014 Contents The Guardian did a service by
publishing that remarkable and
useful article by Daniel Chokolingo
last week, addressing me (and Lenny
Grant) for Mr Grant's lecture, and
my comment/analysis, on his dad
Patrick Chokolingo's life and legacy.
Useful for several reasons: first,
the evident chip on the shoulder;
second, the ethical and professional
admonitions; and third, the Freudian
slip. There's more, but this jumps
out. (Disclaimer: I skimmed Mr
Chokolingo's article once when my
editor sent it to me pre-publication.
In deference to the Mirror's traditions,
I've made no attempt to re-read; I'm
writing this from memory and wing-
So first, the attitude: hysterical,
hostile, hypersensitive, because of
my atrocious and vicious factitious-
ness concerning details of the late
Choko's life. Violations included:
1 I wrote that Choko lost at the
Privy Council for the Judge's Wife.
However, claims his son, it's not that
he didn't lose (he did), it was that I
omitted to mention the Privy Council
blamed the loss on one of his lawyers.
So, you know...that changes every-
2 I wrote that Choko fell out with
Bomb management after Bhadase
Maraj's death and launched his own
paper(s). Horribly wrong, claims the
son; it was years after Bhadase's death
that he fell out with new manage-
ment and formed his own papers.
3 I wrote that Choko launched
the Target, Punch and Mirror papers
after his Bomb sojourn. Perfidy, says
Choko fils; he launched them over
a period of time, and one of them
while at the Bomb. Or something
4 And finally (wait for it) he asks
for my sources! I can see why. It's
not like I reported someone's death,
who was inconveniently still alive;
or that someone had Aids who didn't;
or that someone was horning some-
one with a beauty queen or such tri-
fles. This is Choko: footnotes for
But my sources: from Raoul
Pantin's book The Trinidad Express
Story, from Mr Grant's lecture, and
from my family.
Bhadase Maraj was my grand-
mother's brother. Growing up in the
70s, I recall conversations about
Choko among family members. The
references were always affectionate,
but not always complimentary. And
a question arises: from where can
"accurate" information be got? From
his children? Which? One spoke at
the lecture and did not seem
There's other stuff but, sticking
to my Mirror tradition, I can't be
bothered to check.
What's murderous here is the qual-
ity that's like dark matter to the Mir-
ror and its myrmidons: irony; the
progeny of T&T journalism's father
of lies, demanding adamantine fact
and scrupulous detail when his pro-
genitor is examined. (Hypocrisy
they've heard of; it's something other
people do, and which the Mirror
exposes.) Had the founder of the
Mirror been as fastidious with his
facts, this article, and the country,
would be a lot different.
But it's what the aggrieved hos-
tility, the "you done Choko wrong"
sentiment, is attached to. It's linked
to a confident contempt for pseu-
do-quasi-intellectualism, of which I
am apparently serially guilty, and
intellectualism generally, pseudo or
not. (Let's clear this up: it's not that
I think I know everything, it just
seems that way to people who know
And this attitude, this confidence
and self-righteous indignation at
anything not steeped in nostalgia,
folksy prejudice or populist paranoia,
is Choko's most grievous legacy. His
departure from mainstream journal-
ism was, as I wrote a couple of weeks
ago, ignominious. He was dismissed
from the Express in dubious circum-
stances, and went to work as a hard-
ware store manager till Bhadase
brought him back to life. When he
returned, it was with blood in his
eye for the establishment.
This motivation (vengeance) res-
onated with a very thick stratum of
the Trinidad personality. In fact, you
could say that rather than being an
exception, Choko confirmed the rule
of the Trini authoritarian personality.
Whoever ends up on top unleashes
his personality on those below. From
Williams, Robinson, Panday, Man-
ning, to every civil service cog, or
cop or security guard with an ounce
More important is the consequent
"Bomb-Mirror" effect on media and
society. Such media exist in other
societies to lampoon the great and
the good, present alternative per-
spectives, and assault and batter the
truth: Fox News, Hustler, High Times,
But in those societies, the main-
stream can withstand the attacks,
and there's enough of a literate public
who understand that certain media
require a suspension of logic, disbelief,
and often common sense. That
understanding is absent here.
Choko's personality, unchecked
and unrestrained, was uniquely posi-
tioned to influence a young, fragile
society via media. Remember, this
was the 70s: TTT, a couple of radio
stations, two dailies---very little was
competing for attention. Education
was low, misery, rebellion and dis-
content were high. Choko's journal-
ism fed the chaos, contempt for law,
literacy, and education. They weren't
the only elements, but they were sig-
nificant ones, which reached across
the society, implanting the patho-
logical individualism that suffocates
us today, where dumb is the new
smart and spite is the new sentience.
Apropos, one final thing about
Mr Daniel Chokolingo's diatribe: the
curious barb that I would die childless
and be forgotten. This might be a
Freudian slip (if Freud hadn't been
so comprehensively debunked by that
great intellectual, Kevin (BA)
Baldeosingh). Choko fathered about
16-plus children, and it's likely there
are some, shall we say, issues, about
that in Mr Chokolingo's conscious-
ness, and which transmute into
resentment at anything or anyone
for no logical reason.
And because this is not the Mirror,
and there are limits, I'll leave Choko's
legacy at that. Though I expect an
assault in these or those pages. A
certain amount of licks is good for
the character, I'm told.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Ministry of Legal Affairs
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE
Assignment without the Goodwill
ASSIGNMENT OF TRADEMARK
OTHERWISE THAN IN CONNECTION
WITH THE GOODWILL OF THE BUSINESS
The Trademark "NTN24" Registered Under No. 41611 in Class 38 in respect of
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television broadcasting services; broadcasting services via satellite television, cable
television, terrestrial television, radio networks, local or global computer networks;
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respect of "Entertainment and recreational services, namely, music concerts, sporting
events, television shows, television programs, news programs, television news,
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satellite, cable, terrestrial television, radio networks, and local or global computer
networks", was on the 21st day of November 2013, assigned by NTN 24 S.A.S., a
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business in which it was then in use.
A Private Members Club located in Woodbrook urgently requires a:
(i)Trainer -- Cash Cage Operations.
The incumbent should have at least seven(7) years experience and proven
competence in the supervision, recruitment and training and development
of current and new cashiers, supervisors and shift managers with special
focus on procedures at the Cash Desk. Must be uent in Spanish as there
will be a need for added training abroad.
(ii) Dealer/ Trainer
The incumbent should have at least ve(5) years experience with proven
competence in the training and development of casino personnel with
special focus on table games like Texas Hold'em, 3-Card Poker, Rhum 32 etc.
Familiarisation with local games and gaming customs by hands-on
experience in the gaming pit.
Improving existing game procedures.
Results driven and dedicated professional with management
experience. Able to work in a fast-paced environment.
Instituting new training procedures for electronic gambling and the
maintenance of electronic internet-based games.
The ability to train, lead and motivate employees to surpass company
goals while maintaining highest standards.
Applications for the respective positions should be submitted to:
"Trainer -- Cash Cage Operations Position"
or "Dealer/Trainer Position"
24 O'Connor Street, Woodbrook.
Deadline for submission of applications is December 02 2014.
Please forward a copy of your application to:
The Manpower O cer, Ministry of Labour,
Small & Micro Enterprises
Cor. Duke & George Streets, Port of Spain.
UNSUITABLE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
THAT CHILD OF CHOKO'S
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