Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 20th 2015 Contents A25
Friday, February 20, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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THE ART OF PERFECT PASTRY
Saturday 28th February 2015
9am to 12pm.
Saturday 14th March, 2015
9am to 12pm.
Saturday 28th March, 2015
9am to 12pm.
Venue: San Fernando
The good and the bad
Carnival 2015 - what was good about it?
Well the sun was out and all the winers were
well oiled.....and that's about it.
St Ann's Roundabout & QPS North traffic
Unfortunately, if you live in St Ann's/Cascade
or if you have to use that entry to the city---
there was nothing good about that and the
police are at their wit's end to deal with the
My suggestion---it's more than time for the
Traffic Management Dept---MoW to have a
meeting with residents from St Ann's/Cascade
to deal with this issue. The very man who
designed the current roundabout is still alive and
I'm sure he would like to put in his dollar's worth.
Other residents too have creative ideas that
could be considered.
But besides that site, there are many other
problems affecting traffic in and out of the QPS.
For one, there are no longer marked out and
supervised parking areas inside the QPS, so it's a
virtual free-for-all once inside. Bring back parking
attendants. Entrances and exits to the QPS need
to be clearly identified---it's insane to have one-
lane entrances and exits.
All the toilets in Woodbrook were in Adam
Smith Square, so if you had "to go" you better
walk fast. Two years ago, there were toilets at
every other street corner on Ariapita. Do they
forget things that work? Same thing in the
QPS---hundreds of such facilities but none along
the band route for spectators. And they also
need afficient attendants to keep the facilities
clean and tidy; you can't use the facility if it's
One couldn't help but be struck by the high
proportion of obese people who play mas. T&T---
we have a serious problem. Shapely, slim,
athletic mas players are outnumbered. Try as
hard as they could, cameramen had to work
really hard to get them in their lenses.
Unfortunately, mediocrity has taken over in
the design of mas. It has come to the stage
where I could design a mas band. What kind of
incentive can attract or encourage really creative
designers to return to carnival? We've lost
Saldenha, Bailey, Berkley, Cito, Lee Heung and
now apparently Minshall and McFarlane (but at
least they're alive)---so how can we encourage
them? Other than the kings and queens where is
That to me, is the greatest challenge. From a
design point of view, our Carnival has slowly
degenerated into mediocrity and sameness.
Today, you cannot tell one masquerader from
Hart to one from Legends or Trini Revellers. Sad
to say but Rosalind Gabriel seems to be the only
one with new ideas. If Massy All Stars could win
Band of the Year last year with a costume
they've been using for the last 50 years---that
says it all.
In spite of everything else though,
compliments to the new chairman Mrs. Pouchet,
the flow was remarkably better. The many hours
of waiting on Charlotte Street was minimized.
Let's hope she and her committee can
encourage more creativity in future.......because
that surely is what it is all about.......of course,
after the wining.
I just want to play mehself, leave me let
me play a mas......" These are the words
of Machel "Monk Monte" Montano T&T s
Reigning Soca Monarch and Road March
King. This is the general feeling of mas-
queraders on the road in our Carnival
Nation. The new Carnival anthem says
"when I feting of course, I does do it like
Dr Rowley has represented this title on
the road for Carnival as naturally being a
political celebrity he was flanked by fellow
female masqueraders. Social media has been
populated with photos showing Dr Rowley
and many persons posing for photos and
there are a couple pics where he takes a
wine with a beautiful and vibrant looking
There are some who object to Dr Rowley s
actions based on him being the Opposition
Leader or Prime Minister in waiting but I
am wondering if these people have any idea
of the realities of playing mas on the road.
Band members on the road for Carnival are
in celebration mode and I don t know of
anyone who played mas in a band and didn t
get a wine or jam whether on purpose or
by the way especially as a celebrity.
I think persons are trying to be mischie-
vous and bring politics into a Carnival mas
band experience. If you are in a band and
additionally good looking you "will" get a
jam or wine from somebody and if you add
celebrity status to that then you need an
The key is to be self respecting and decent
as we all need to be so composed. Therefore
as people looking on in context, this was
Dr Rowley on the road for Carnival uncut
and unedited. He was having a good time
in true Trinibagonian style.
From all reports, the masquerader that
"took a wine" with Dr Rowley has had a
very suprised reaction to the persons
attempting to blow it up. Her account is
that she had a good time and anything out-
side of that is being small minded.
There are those who look forward to the
Carnival celebrations and others who simply
don t partake for their own personal reasons.
My sentiment is that if you are coming out
to play mas on the road, do it like a boss!
DR ROWLEY LIKE A BOSS
This last week, throughout US traditional and
social media, US Vice President Joe Biden was being
vilified for once again being caught in an inappro-
At the swearing-in ceremony of the new Defence
Secretary Ashton Carter, Biden was seen whispering
in Carter s wife ear while resting his hands on her
shoulder. At the point of time in which the photo
was taken, it looked quite intimate and not the behav-
iour that a man occupying his office should be
indulging in. However, a video would give the impres-
sion that it was an innocent gesture, but pictures
are forever and they are worth one thousand words.
In short, the damage was already done. This incident
just serves to highlight how important it is to always
think and rethink the image that we project when
one is in public office.
Now, let us try to relate this to our political and
cultural context. We, as a society, are more open and
our social rules are much freer that in the US. How-
ever, holders of high office must at all time be cog-
nizant of their roles as leaders and, as such, must
be very circumspect with their behaviour.
It is why we place so much faith and responsibility
in them. We expect them to exercise better judgment,
to have the wisdom to think ahead and analyze sit-
uations for all the possible fallout from them. We
expect them to have the discipline to not be mere
sheep, to be strong to escape the trap of acting in
the moment. This is why we follow them.
All those people who are saying Dr. Rowley is free
to enjoy his Carnival however he wants have just
confined him to the masses of followers. He himself
has just confined himself to one who lacks better
judgment and total lack of self control.
In a miscalculated blunder to appear
as a man of the people, he has proven
that he lacks the political nous to lead
the people. This is not about how he
chooses to spend his Carnival. This is
not about his personal family situation.
This is not about the age of the girl or
whatever other issue social media is
spinning this to be.
Dr Rowley should have had the
knowledge and better wisdom to know
this would never end well. When he
woke up on Carnival Tuesday morning,
I imagine it was not his intention to
be caught in this political maelstrom.
However, when placed in a moment
to make the best decision, he failed.
As Prime Minister, these instances
would be multiplied many times over.
If he cannot do it for one day, how
could he ever do it over the course of
Leaders must be circumspect
The bottom line is that most people
do not really care who missed school
or work. Keeping the children home for
a 'rest day' after the Carnival is now an
This private 'off day' is decided,
upfront, by each household to suit
their circumstances and as is popularly
said, 'end of story.'
'The Ash Wednesday effect' has
crept into our 'personal emotional
charts'. Are we an unregulated
society? I do not think so. Some
people just need that extra day's rest
from struggling to beat the traffic, the
wreckers, congestion and general
hustle of getting children to school or
travelling from point A to point B.
Ash Wednesday is part of our
unique mentality that allows us to get
along with each other. The Ash
Wednesday behaviour is a 'Trini ting.'
It has nothing to do with party politics,
race or religion. It has become part of
our culture. It is that part of the 'trini
to de bone' understanding that you
cannot play mas if you fraid powder.'
The message to TTUTA and the
Ministry of Education is 'stop worrying
about who was there and who was
not there. 'Is nothing 'personal.'
All who believe that they can
successfully regulate Ash Wednesday
in Trinidad and Tobago 'aint born yet.'
That 'Ash Wednesday effect'
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