THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY
IT’S BEEN a big week and a half for small-island mistakes. On the last day of November, its last Independence/first Republic Day, Barbados’s newly-minted national hero, the pop music megastar, Rihanna, accepted her award in an outfit that will probably be discussed in fine detail long after Bajans have stopped their general waffling about that trifle, republican status.
Now Rihanna is less recognised for her understated public outfits than her underwear-like ones. but even by what one must call her standards, she made a lasting impression last week. It could be fairly suggested that most of the women who saw Ri-Ri’s walk from her chair to the stage and back felt it stir their hearts and most of the men were equally stirred, but perhaps not in the same way. Or location.
But could anyone call the selection of that outfit for that occasion a mistake when anyone who Ecosias “Rihanna, images” will see very many photographs suggesting – dare one say “revealing” – it was quite deliberate. There are a couple of points about Rihanna with which even family newspaper readers have become familiar – one hesitates to say “intimate.”
Rihanna may well have put a lot of thought into her outfit choice but the evidence of my own eyes is that, underneath it all, she was committed to giving her people the naked truth.
If Rihanna’s rather vibrant outfit for such a sombre occasion as Barbados’s first Republic Day was indeed a big blunder, it’s a neck-and-neckline race to see whose boobs were bigger between her and: 1) the prospective new Tobago House of Assembly chief secretary Farley Augustine; 2) the leader of Augustine’s political party Watson Duke; 3) the voters of Tobago; and 4) the people of TT; and it could well end, if not end well, in a four-way tie.
The new THA sits for the first time today and only then will the people of Tobago and Farley Augustine find out whether Watson Duke will keep his promise that Augustine will be the new chief secretary; one supposes that Watson Duke alone knows that for sure. It’s a dicey situation to be sure, both the Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader and its deputy political leader having won their seats when one of them might have been counting on the other losing.
A promise is a promise and the old Watson is on public record as saying that young Farley would become THA chief today…but, then, the old Watson is dear to many satirists precisely for the elementary mistakes and/or misstatements he has appeared to make, and for promises made perhaps a trifle too hastily.
In August 2017, the old Watson famously and gratuitously openly and even more gratuitously repeatedly promised to swim the 30km distance from Tobago to Toco, a huge personal splash of a public protest against the dismal ferry service between the islands. It turned out, regrettably, more of a splish-splash: the old Watson entered the water in a lifejacket – perhaps not the most auspicious or encouraging start – and dog-paddled only a short distance before getting into a kayak, which promptly overturned. Some said he swam the length of the Hilton Hotel pool, others that it was more like the length of a cricket pitch, yet others that it was closer to a ping-pong table; all agree, though, that the last 29.99 km of the 30-km swim was done in a pirogue, on a bench, wrapped in a fluffy towel.
Life imitates art, it is said, but life in TT parodies it. There can be no more existential political question in TT than that of secession of Tobago; the name of the country defines it as such.
Every PDP candidate who said anything about secession dismissed it out of hand; but the clearest public indication a politician ever gives that he intends to do something as soon as possible is a blanket denial that he ever would.
Will any of this week’s boobs, then, turn out to be bigger than Rihanna’s last week?
It’s a perplexing and difficult question.
And one would feel better about framing it if one could excise the underlying worry that the answer might indeed be elementary to our dear Watson.
BC Pires is the founder of the Movement for St Ann's-ian Self-determination