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Sunday 15 July 2018
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Commentary

Drifters talking politics

'The limit on complaining should be about a week, after which the coupon should expire.'

SHARDA PATASAR

Picture my relaxed disposition. I had just had a very eventful run, filled with monkeys and a rather large centipede, the likes of which one can only really see in forested areas. It had to be at least four inches. My coffee had arrived. I was now sitting, looking out at sea.

“Well what do you think about the Chief Justice issue?”

Oh lord! Not that I hadn’t heard something wafting through the cool Caribbean air but not right now, not when the surroundings looked at peace with itself.

I had once had a degree of fame on account of my ability to drift off during a conversation. It had, on more than one occasion, incurred the annoyance of a few sensitive individuals who felt my behaviour to be rude. They were, of course, justified in their feelings. In the effort to rectify this lack of social grace, I began to pay a little more attention. The urge to float off, however, is always near and, indeed, dear and I do employ it from time to time. This time in particular, given the chronology of events that had brought us to this place of peace, I mumbled an answer to this question of the Chief Justice.

"Nothing? I don’t have an opinion ‘cause I wasn’t following. Remember I told you I was taking a break from news?"

“Well, I thought you would have been interested. I was so excited about it,” said my companion, “that I went and pulled up some articles. I think it’s something you should write about.”

Needless to say, I was provided with a gist of the happenings.

And this, dear readers, is how you get the news without opening a paper, full references provided as well to make my life easier.

I had stopped consumption of the events at the point where the hotel room pictures had popped up. The Law Association was conducting some investigation and then there was some issue of a sabbatical that the President got mixed up in afterwards. That’s about the most one knows. But really, how, in this time of a lack of safety, where my rights as a citizen to enjoy the privilege to walk on the road without fear for my life, is the issue of the Chief Justice anything less than just an extension of the social fashion on this dear little island nation? What am I really missing out by way of news?

How does this issue affect my already affected life? How does this make any difference to the price of bread as someone might rudely ask? (In our case this had a literal meaning). Well the conversation on the road is, "Them fellas doing what they doing, they eating tax-payers money and storing up for when they lose the next election. But we small men have to make a living at the end of the day and them doh really affect we. It hard, it easy, is still a day work. Yeah these days kinda hard but how much you going to complain. It doh change nothing."

Listen, I’m not a defeatist but I tend to agree with the small man. I also believe that nothing gets done by complaining. The limit on complaining should be about a week, after which the coupon should expire. People need to purge their systems after all in order to move forward.

So, coming back to the Chief Justice, the latest is an issue of law and order. But law and order has been a trending issue for as long as I can remember. Corruption in government, whose head we bypass to get something done, which laws we bend to make things happen in our favour etc. Prior to this, we had the issue of sexual orientation (don’t forget what those hotel photographs were trying to suggest), and that too is a national issue – when do we merge or divide the public and private? How do we make decisions about people’s ability to carry out their duty (remember the question posed to the new President elect about her own sexual orientation)?

The CJ issue represents the important trending dialogues in this nation. So, this is not a case of an individual anymore, this is the nation embodied simply because none of us lives in isolation, media detox or not.

So what does this have to do with me again? Well, nothing and everything. For now, I prefer to carry this bit of knowledge with me as I drift into my expanding universe. What’s the point of all this drifting and questioning if it changes nothing within me?

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