Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 5th 2015 Contents B1
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Wine, women and song.
That was the theme of the day
when the Romans were introduced
to the debauchery of Bacchanalia a
few millennia before Christ himself
was ushered in with pride, pomp and
His own cultish circumstance.
Mystic as well as mythic, the
explicit celebrations conjured up nude
men and maidens, accompanied by
masqueraders dressed in animal skins,
and soused to the ears as they belted
out bawdy lyrics. Theatre in the
They crowned a mock king but
even he couldn t control the euphoria.
Later, early Christianity would blast
Carnival as a despicable event. How
times have changed!
Today, the tradition continues to
celebrate its resurrection as mas, or
masquerade, in T&T s annual big do.
At least what registers as mas. (Well,
such interpretation certainly won t
leave conservatives in a wining mood).
A good thing, though, happened
during the mas some fat years ago.
I chanced upon the Ghost of Car-
nival Past, who seemed to be disori-
ented by a strangeness in the bac-
chanal. For whatever reason, the Muse
of mas had been sidetracked since
Mancrab violated the Washerwoman,
the theatrical uptick in a sense bring-
ing a downturn to the celebrations.
Much of mas and its derivatives had
become generic. Notwithstanding
Minshall, Berkeley, Derek and a resur-
gence of traditional characters, the
mas had gone mouldy. Turns out that
the freshest path it had taken has
been the fleshiest. A pervert s view
that, as artist Christopher Cozier
hinted, curved away from the tra-
jectory of the Mancrab/Washer-
woman tra la la. The song, not the
singer, having changed. Look how it
come a lyricist s dream---oil wealth
anew, and wanton women by the
grappe. Yeah, like Yankees gone and
Anyway, our curiosity to justify
relevance and integrity on hold, it
behooved the Muse to take your hum-
bled one back in time when mas
lovers swore by the encyclopedia, the
new Good Book---for it became a
repository of thematic ideas. Even
the library lured and lulled potential
Off we went, then, through three
side streets and around two corners,
where we bounced up Nirvana. Who
awaited us inside a small office at the
Film Department of the Information
Division. No, no! Ministry of Publicity
and Propaganda? Ah-yah-yie-ah-
yie! Don t go there! Come with us
as we peruse ancient clips of George
Bailey and Harold Saldenha and Des-
peradoes Leo Warner and Wilfred
"Speaker" Harrison, et al. Frame upon
frame of pageantry, colours accen-
tuating each other in Van Goghian
bold, and daubing images of hordes
of revellers as they magically trans-
form National Geographic, Britannica
itself and many a brave designer s
fancy into a mobile playhouse.
Here the dance of Sally s Cree Indi-
ans of Canada as it snakes along the
Circular to the Belmont competition;
and, in a Bailey triad of historical sig-
nificance, there the mystery of the
Relics of Egypt, replete with chariots
and Sphinxes; over by so, Somewhere
in New Guinea beckons; and coming
down Cipriani Boulevard Saga of
Merrie England titillates.
To Hell and Back and Back to
Africa; Primitive Man and Extracts
from the Animal Kingdom; Imperial
Rome; The Glory that was Greece;
and a whole mess of sailor bands
putting on a show, their risqué and
comedic acts mimed to the rawness
of steelband music,
• Continues on Page B2
Fashion designer Giorgio Armani has
played down his part in Madonna's on-
stage fall at this year's Brit Awards.
The pop star tumbled down a flight of
steps during her performance last week
when a dancer tried to pull away her
Armani-designed matador cape.
She said the garment, which was
supposed to fall off her shoulders, had
been fastened too tightly.
Armani responded: "The cape had a
hook and she wanted a tie, and she
wasn't able to open it with her hands.
"That's all there is to it. Madonna, as
we all know, is very difficult."
The 80-year-old was talking to the
Associated Press following his show at
Milan Fashion week.
Madonna's wardrobe malfunction went
viral minutes immediately after it was
broadcast live on ITV1.
She later told chat show host Jonathan
Ross she had suffered "a little bit of
whiplash" after the fall.
The 56-year-old said her cape had been
tied "really tight around my neck"
because "everyone was worried" it would
"I got to the top of the stairs and I
pulled the silky string, and it wouldn't
come undone," she continued. (BBC)
Armani labels Madonna 'difficult' after Brits fall
The Carnival is over but the discussions are still raging
about the relevance of the festival today. Writer and
filmmaker DALTON NARINE takes a satirical look at
Carnival and recalls the mas of yesteryear.
Pestilence, one of
Horsemen of the
the Book of
presents a chilling
spectre on the
streets of Port of
Spain in Peter
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