Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, October 25, 2007  

For a moment I imagined this constitutional foolishness becoming real, a grinning but concerned father monarch plastered everywhere, the politics of the absurd and violent magical reality, collateral damage, moral police, high food prices and inflation, ballroom dancing, enforced Christian learning in schools, "government" authorised Benny Hinn crusades, a museum to Eric Williams in the middle of the Savannah, two smelters, environmental degradation, mercantile monopolisation, gang warfare, miles upon miles of traffic; intellectual and artistic life crushed as the supremo deems artists and university professors as subversive, outsider, and illegal.

A Christian State is declared with mass rallies, plenty singing and the live telecast exorcisms of demoniacal forces, anyone who is not a Christian is forced to wear a "heretic badge" and new laws of exclusion are passed to restrict the freedom of the press. Political dissenters are forced to work in government-run farms, a new Ministry of Social Order, headed by a congregation of appointed pastors is formed, with Inquisition like powers to hunt down the undesirable. Prohibition is introduced, and everyone gets a free TV from the government, the crime rate is magically and drastically reduced.

-- With less than two weeks to go to the general election, a black graffito image on a wall in Port of Spain featuring the prime minister, arm oustretched in a Nazi salute, with the slogan "Der F├╝hrer of the Nation" stencilled in red underneath, has gotten the artist Eddie Bowen thinking. (From a piece in today's Express, not available online.)

posted by Jonathan | 9:22 AM 0 comments


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