“Death is not an interruption of Being, but a necessary part of it, and the condition of our immortality… We shall die, but we shall not perish.”
—Charles W Warner, “The Fear of Death”
In the preface to his semi-autobiographical Beyond a Boundary (1963), CLR James informs his readers that his book poses the question, “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? To answer involves ideas as well as facts.” (James’ italics.)
I have always interpreted this injunction to mean that the significance of cricket to West Indian people lies in our over-standing (to use a Rastafarian idiom) of the social and cultural milieu out of which this inspiring game comes, and how well it speaks to our possibilities as a people. Continue reading Selwyn Ryan and T&T’s intellectual tradition→
We fondly called each other “The Other Selwyn”, in terms of friendship and endearment. Although I never knew Selwyn Ryan, the other Selwyn, as well as others did, over time we grew to admire and respect each other’s work, and genuinely liked each other a lot. Sadly, he died a week ago.
I suspect our mutual admiration came from the fact that we both received our doctorates from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. When I arrived at Cornell in 1972, I could not get over the fact that another Trinidadian had attended Cornell and wrote his dissertation on nationhood in Trinidad and Tobago. Continue reading ‘The Other Selwyn’→
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said yesterday that no more than three per cent of the officers in the Police Service were crooked.
Speaking following a tour of the San Fernando Police Station where officers had protested poor working conditions, Williams responded to the Selwyn Ryan report which indicated that as much as 50 per cent of the Police Service was corrupt.
Soca, dancehall and hip-hop music are said to be influencing youths into criminal behaviour. This is according to a report by the Ryan Committee on Youth at Risk. The report was laid in Parliament by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday. The committee’s report said while it was impossible to draw a definitive correlation between violence or explicitness of lyrics and the level of criminality among youth, the lyrics of 2012 soca hits “tend to support the idea of a contemporary youth culture that is very consistent with the rebellious behaviour of previous generations of youth.” Continue reading Ryan crime report: Soca music breeding criminals→
THE best crime-fighting measures emerging from the Emergency thus far are the medium-term initiatives Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced when she wound up the motion that saw Parliament extend the State of Emergency for three months. The Selwyn Ryan committee that will look at curbing criminality, the case-flow-management team of attorneys, the proposed amnesty for minor offences and the possible release from prison of convicts who no longer pose a threat to society, if aggressively pursued, would yield more benefits to the society than the steep drop in crimes during the Emergency. Continue reading Emergency Notes→
I overheard someone complaining on a call-in programme during Emancipation week that people of African origin in Trinidad were a different breed from those in other islands of the Caribbean.
It was not clear whether the caller meant to say that the Trinis were a worse or a better breed. I think he meant that they were an inferior breed, since, like Prof Courtenay Bartholomew (Express, August 11) he had some critical things to say about us blacks here in Trinidad. The caller was however quite correct about Trinidad blacks being different from their Caribbean counterparts. Culture and cojuncture and not genetics were however responsible for the differences. Continue reading Emancipation: some creation myths→
I always perceived you to be a relatively intelligent man, although I may not always agree with everything you write. I could not, however, help but comment on your commentary/editorial in the Sunday Express dated July 11, 2010, and entitled: “Is the PNM really back?”
While asking a seemingly elemental question, your commentary seemed to give the impression that you were somewhat impressed with the large number of PNM attendees at the Convention and the vibrancy of the crowd, despite the inclement weather and the comprehensive blows recently received by that party in the national election. Continue reading Herculean Task for PNM→
Two years ago, Ken Valley expressed the view that Patrick Manning had done some good things for Trinidad and Tobago, and that the People’s National Movement (PNM) ought to protect his legacy. ’If we leave him as political leader, he’ll continue to slide…I have an obligation towards the PNM and Trinidad. If we don’t intervene, the PNM will lose the next election.’ Mr Valley may have been a better prophet than Rev Pena. Continue reading Great is the PNM. But will it prevail?→
This column has been witness to at least ten general elections over the past four decades. In almost all of them, the exceptions being those in 1976 and 1986, it has supported the PNM, whether implicitly or explicitly. We are now in 2010 and face many new and daunting political and economic challenges. After having thought carefully about all that has happened to us as people since the 2007 elections, and indeed before, and having also considered the issues and the options that are available to us in terms of leadership, I find that I cannot possibly support the PNM and have no alternative but to endorse the People’s Partnership coalition as the formation which best suits the political and economic circumstances in which we find ourselves at this juncture. It is time for a change. We need to open up the political system and consider other governance options. We also need to lay to rest the ghost of the NAR. And the fear of coalitions with which it left us. Continue reading Ryan Dumps PNM and Endorses the People’s Partnership→