Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2017 Contents viewpoint A21
Saturday, January 21, 2017 guardian.co.tt
NOT MY TRUMP
Anti-riot police block protesters holding placards against President-
elect Donald Trump outside the US embassy in metro Manila,
Philippines. REUTERS PHOTO
Over the years I have looked at the
political arena and there are a few ob-
servations that have stood out in my
mind. It would seem to be that when-
ever election draws near you can ac-
tually forecast what will take place on
the election campaign trail.
I believe that our politics and
the way our politicians carry about
themselves must be reviewed with
an effort to change, and in so doing,
raise the standard of politics in T&T.
I would like to shortlist some of the
areas that, in my opinion, surely can
do with serious adjustments.
Let us deal with the character as-
sassination. This is always a must and
falls into the agenda almost nightly
on the podiums. Sometimes the
things that are brought to the public
are of such a personal nature it cer-
tainly leads to embarrassment to the
I wonder if anyone is serious about
an election if they really see this as
important to the night's proceeding.
The party manifesto is what they
want to hear about. At least I think so
from where I stand.
Then after the election is over you
have to deal with the wars between
the elected Government and the op-
position. I am yet to see, at any time,
these two coming into Parliament
and agreeing on something without
some form of resistance. Many times
what shows up are the immaturity
and childlike attitudes. What is worse
is that this can be viewed by the en-
tire nation through the Parliament
Our politicians must realise that
citizens are looking for solutions to
the nation's problems, not who is the
messenger. It is a new political way
of thinking, so if the other side has a
brilliant idea that can solve the prob-
lem, use it.
What about transparency, honesty
and integrity by all our leaders? This
is not pointing fingers at anyone,
but let us be honest, look at T&T's
political history, scarred with a host
of corruption allegations. When
time should be spent on building the
economy what do we have? A host of
investigations, inquiries taking mil-
lions of tax payers' dollars.
We definitely need a political
transformation going forward to see
any improvement with politics of
this country. It must begin with those
wearing the political jackets.
BOUNDARY ROAD, SAN JUAN
My 20-month-old son Kyle is at that interesting
stage of developing a sense of humour.
This week he told me, "I want milk."
"You want milk?" I asked, just to make sure.
He narrowed his eyes and deepened his voice
and replied, "I want mik."
"You want milk?" I said again.
"I want mk," he said, then, for good measure, re-
peated himself several times, emphasising the "mk"
In their book The Humour Code, behaviour-
al economist Peter McGraw and journalist Joel
Warner write, "Laughter develops in infants far
earlier than language, usually between 10 and 20
weeks of age. To be clear, what these babies are
laughing at isn't humour as we understand it; they
just find certain stimuli pleasurable."
According to American child psychologists,
playing peek-a-boo, "I'm gonna get you"
raspberrying their tummies are the main
things that make infants laugh. My
three nieces and my own children
also found it hilarious when I
pretended to fall down.
But psychologist Paul Mc-
Gee says that children don't
recognise things as funny
until they're about two-
and-a-half years old. This
starts with deliberately using
objects for the wrong func-
tion, like pretending a banana
is a telephone. By age three,
they deliberately mislabel objects.
Kyle already does this with colours,
showing me his red toy car and say-
ing, with a sly smile, "I have a green
car." His "mik" joke is a variation of
this mislabelling, since he was delib-
erately mispronouncing "milk"
five, children start making jokes about
the attributes of objects, like saying
ice is hot. And by seven they do wordplay, puns
and double meanings.
There is also a sex difference in humour. Generally,
boys between the ages of six and 11 try to be funny
more often than girls of the same age. I don't know
if this is true of my own children, though. When
my daughter Jinaki was 20 months, she was already
making jokes. One joke at that age involved repeating
what her mother said: as I was putting her to sleep
(Jinaki, not her mother) she turned to me and said,
"Kevin...babe." I was not amused, though.
Concomitantly, fathers tend to joke with their
children more frequently than mothers, or at least
do so in different ways. When children are small,
fathers joke through physical play; when the chil-
dren become teenagers, this interaction becomes
more verbal, through wordplay and even sarcasm.
"Evidence suggests that fathers may help adoles-
cents develop their own sense of identity and au-
tonomy by being more 'peer-like' and more play
(joking and teasing), which is likely to promote
more equal and egalitarian exchanges," writes
American psychologist Ross D Parke in the essay
collection Gender and Parenthood.
I am not sure if this is so true of strict tradi-
tional cultures, however, where men's main value
is dignity. I suspect not, since such
cultures also tend to have high
rates of violence, and one of the
functions of humour is to defuse
violence. Admittedly, humour
can also cause violence, as
in mockery, but usually the
individuals who react this way
themselves lack a sense of hu-
mour. Maybe that's why father-in-
volved cultures tend to be more
peaceful and democratic.
At any rate, my children keep
me continually amused. And that's
one of the best things about being a parent.
It is with a sense of
gratitude that I express
my sincere thanks to
the captain and crew of
the vessel Tobago Spir-
it on the 4 pm sailing
on Monday, January
9, 2017, as well as the
officer at the check-in
booth at the Port of
On reaching the Port,
I realised my important
ID card was missing. I
spoke with a lady at the
gate who recommended
that I returned to my
home as quickly as
possible and get back
before the sailing time.
Because of the peak
traffic time, on my
return the gates were
about to be closed. The
kind police officer reo-
pened them to accom-
modate me to check-in
while the vessel waited
for my family and my-
self to board.
In the face of all the
negative reports of bad
or shabby treatment
in public offices, it is
heartening to note that
such qualities of pa-
tience, kindness and
courtesy must be com-
mended and encour-
Thanks again and
keep up the excellent
Helpful staff makes for smooth sailing
A PARENTING COLUMN BY KEVIN BALDEOSINGH
MAN & CHILD
You must be joking
A political transformation
is really needed
The public is hereby
the Noise Pollution Control
Name and Description
of Event / Activity:
'REV' A COUNTRY STYLE
Location / Address of
Event / Activity:
Duration of Activity:
The public is hereby
Pollution Control Rules
DATE OF EVENT/ACTIVITY
NAME AND DESCRIPTION
ADDRESS OF EVENT/
SOUTH PARK CAR PARK
DURATION OF EVENT/
Links Archive January 20th 2017 January 22nd 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page