American climate fashion change in T&T

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
March 28, 2010

Trinidadians“Good news, good news, good news”, “ring de bell”, climate fashion change has finally hit the shores of T&T.

To all intent and purposes, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has now moved out of tropical meteorological zone into the temperate zone, not by accident but by calculated design.

And this calculated, planned and concerted design has come about as a result of the American re-colonization of all aspects of life in T&T 24-7-365, including the fashion industry.

Ergo, as of this writing, fashion advertisements in T&T’s dailies validate the truism that T&T no longer has two seasons, namely, dry season and rainy season. Ipso facto, the fashion advertising industry in T&T has become the latest victim of global climate change.

Today, one finds that Trinbagonians can be seen casually walking down the streets in the boiling hot sun decked-out in thick, heavy winter coats as if T&T is under the climatic spell of a snowy winter a la America’s east coast.

The sad reality is that mature adult Trinbagonians seem to function under the illusion that they are living in a temperate, cold climatic zone. They are just eager to feel and touch America by any and all means necessary — even if it takes wallowing in climatic fashion “chupidness.”

According to the public advertisements by fashion houses in malls, T&T now has four seasons. Whether this dramatic climatic change has been sanctioned, validated, authorized and/or verified by T&T’s Meteorological Services is another story.

This new Euro-centric American fashion reality is very, very, very real and overt. “We like it.”

Notwithstanding the cultural reality that T&T’s culinary habits have been totally Kentuckyfried, Royal Castled, Blimpied, Church’s Chickened, Mario’s Pizzeriaded, McDonalderized, Burger Kinged, Subwayed, Pizza Hutted, Ginzanos subbed and Popeyed 24-7-365, this new climatic fashion genre is further compounded by the de jure fact that Trinbagonians are now bombarded by fashion advertisements which point the finger to north America’s climatic conditions. “We like it.”

Apparently, T&T’s fashion industry sees its future in the four seasons — Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

The stark reality is that when a people, especially a former colonized people as in T&T, refuses to look inward unto themselves for cultural solace, empowerment, direction and modus vivendi, then, that culture, albeit fashion industry, is doomed to failure and self-destruction when it opts to look outward.

The salient fact is that inwardness leads to power, while outwardness reaps powerlessness and dependency — as in mental/psychological/cultural slavery. And this dependent cultural phenomenon speaks volumes as to the Americanization of the fashion advertising industry in T&T. “Free, free, how free are we; could you tell me?”

By way of elucidation, prima facie proof of this Americanization immediately comes to the fore as exemplified by the following American-driven climatic fashion advertisements in T&T: “New Arrival of the Summer Collection”; “Fall/Winter sale”; “Spring bling sale”; “Summer Collection”; “New Arrivals Spring/Summer 2009”; “Take Style to the beach this Summer”; “Last weeks Sale 70% off Winter Collection”; and on and on and on…

However, this Trini American-driven climatic fashion advertising insanity and madness do not stop there. On its heels, exist “Tru Valu Summer Block Buster 5 More Bonanza”; “Detour Summer Splash SALE”; Radio Shack’s “Sizzling Summer Sale”; and let’s not forget “Soca for Summer”.

And this American-driven cultural insanity/madness continue as malls promote “Halloween makeup” with such news paper headlines as “Halloween creeps up on T&T”. “We like it”.

And to add insult to injury, one finds that on 17 March 2010, Trinbagonians celebrated St. Patrick’s Day decked-out in green while sipping cocktails a la Irish-Americans in New York and elsewhere in the United States. Way to go Trinis. “We like it”.

However, this American-driven cultural and madness are taken to the next level to the extent that the School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS) is now offering “2009 Summer Courses” and bringing up the literal Trini rear, one finds that there are advertisements publicized by well-established malls that specialize in “Silicone Buttocks” so that T&T women can get the “Best Seat”.

“Palance, palance, palance
Palancing on de road
Watch we palancing
Watch we palancing”

Truth Be Told: These American-driven climatic fashion advertisements have completely transformed/turned T&T from sweet to sour a la American values, norms, mind-set and criteria for living. “We like it.”

The fact of the matter is that “cultural revolution is the most basic condition” for a successful process toward mental/psychological liberation.

The American-driven climatic fashion advertisements in T&T represent a colossal, incredible but real dinosaur on the cultural neck of Trinbagonians.

They represent dysfunctional behaviour on the part of the powers-that-be who own those malls. But, do they really care any way, period? America, here we come!

“Shame, shame; big, big shame on you”.

Indeed, the public actions by the owners of these malls begs the question: What is culture?

Answer: “Culture is simply the motive-force of a people’s history”; it is the totality of a people’s way of life, 24-7, 365.

Are the owners of these malls equating T&T’s cultural history with America’s? To attempt to do so is tantamount to Euro-centric backward, bankrupt thinking to the nth degree. Give me a break!

It may be all well and good to admire the American way of life but these climatic fashion advertisements are ridiculous. They reflect retrogressive cultural behaviour, period.

As was pointed out in the early 1960s, “the industrialized countries show the developing countries the image of their own future.”

Translated, this truism means that T&T is frantically striving to become the United States of Trinidad and Tobago. Ergo, one can conclude that with the overt proliferation of these American-driven climatic fashion advertisements in conjunction with tall buildings that eventually the skylines of the capital city of Port-of-Spain will be a duplicate copy of Manhattan, San Francisco and Chicago a la United States of America. “We like it.”

Truth Be Told: Trinibagonians who support these American-driven climatic fashion advertisements are suffering from neurological cultural brain damage, period.

However, the scary/dangerous fall-out is that Trinbagonians are walking around in their daily lives as if nothing is wrong with the country’s cultural make-up. Maybe, cultural immunity/insanity have already set in. This is crazy. This represents typical Euro-centric cultural vagrancy in all its regressive manifestations.

In the final analysis, now is the time for all Trinbagonians to be proud of our culture and God-given climatic reality. T&T has only two seasons — NOT four and daily life in T&T must be lived within that two-season context.

Maybe, just maybe, current Calypso monarch Kurt Allen is correct, namely, these mall owners who publish these American-driven climatic fashion advertisements are “too bright” to the extent that “dey nah treat de (fashion industry) right”. Where is their “satellite” located? Certainly not in T&T. “Ah want to fall.”

Truth Be Told: The powers-that-be in the fashion industry in T&T are de jure obscene American-driven cultural impersonators/imitators/fakers. Their American-driven climatic fashion advertisements represent nothing more than voluntary cultural castration, impotency and dis-location.

CNN “Breaking News”: Welcome to the Republic of the United States of Trinidad and Tobago — the Red, White and Blue has now replaced the Red, White and Black. The White kernel, as in KFC from California, U.S.A. , has also replaced the White British Governor from Britain on T&T’s independence square. I rest my case.

Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

7 thoughts on “American climate fashion change in T&T”

  1. Actually.. I am not so hard on fellow Trinis.. This what you get when you have disposable income in a tiny far-flung English speaking market. Adopting the mores of a larger market is not really colonialism. Is it colonialism having Spanish ads on local cable tv? Trinidad’s tiny market could not withstand the market forces of shear numbers even if the small population was the most progressive, independent thinking in the world. Personally I always enjoy the spin Trinis put on the “imports” from other countries. For example the author fails to mention the Subways in Trinidad are probably the only subways in the world with shaddonbenny as a sauce option along side mustard. Or how Royal Castle whipped KFC’s arse in the chicken wars. Or how doubles or bake and shark for breakfast outsell any import. go easy on the Trinis – “we like it”.

  2. Well, if the claims in this article are to be believed then I have to agree with Dr. Nantambu to the extent that Trinbagonian locals who choose to wear winter clothing in a tropical climate have clearly taken leave of their senses and are in urgent need of psychological evaluation.

    This article takes me back to 1993, when as a fourteen year old, a family friend had given me a long sleeved polo shirt for Christmas. I was very excited about the gift at first and couldn’t wait to wear it; however, when I wore it to an evening social engagement, I found myself sweating profusely and I couldn’t wait to get out of that shirt. Needless to say, I never wore it in Trinidad again. Luckily, I found much better use for it when I moved to the US, since I didn’t grow much more between the ages of fourteen and nineteen and the shirt still fit me.

  3. I have visited Trinidad its ironic that there are so many cars and even more traffic for such a small island,there is no infrastructure to support it, I read your history and for an Island that is so rich in culture and tradition it is difficult to communicate with the locals, I guess I need an island dictionary to figure out the language you speak,Do They actually speak and teach the same language?It is sad that you have no customer service(there is no warmth in your island)for visitors,if you are going to copy America copy the positive also, as for speaking Spanish please leave it to a Hispanic. I guess Trinidad is the little new york of the Caribbean you are a follower and not a leader. Sad the same country (USA) you are complaining about is the same country that was giving medical aid to your people Is It IRONIC don’t you think?

  4. Take that in your pipe Trinis and smoke it. This foreigner is claiming you cannot speak English, Spanish,Arabic , Hebrew , Chinese , Hindi , Urdu, Bengali , or, Yahuba ,or Kiswalli ,for all your pretensions of a melting pot , multicultural sophistication . He also claims that as far as tourism go , your infrastructure is deplorable when compared to Grenada, Antigua, St Lucia ,Aruba , or Cancun. Most importantly , even a mad Rabies infected Pitbull crossed with a Doberman ,possess more charm that any of you across the nation. Go figure.
    Now you copycat American Trinis as he claimed , unlike the wonderful 5000 murders per year tourist havens Jamaica, and pristine little England Barbados , you Trinis he chided ,are trying to be the Zoo York of the Caribbean, yet are dependent on his country’s tax payers to keep you alive , and your health service running. Did I miss something, or did Fratboy G.W not kick us off the list of country entitled to any kind of financial aid package , while increasing the budget for Israel , Egypt , Saudi Arabia , Columbia , and similar bastions of democracy?
    Can you believe this fellow Trinis ? Here it is your country just spend close US 300 million to stage a Conference of the Americas ,so as to help their President wet his political foreign policy feet on Cuba ,and Venezuela ,along with a grand tea drinking Commonwealth Conference extravaganza, so that your President like the US first lady, can squeeze the Queen’s butt in a staged “can we not get along,” photo opt , and this is what you get for all your efforts. Care to name one job producing white paper that came out of both conferences of benefit to the Caribbean ?
    Your cheap oil and gas is helping to subsidize the man’s -or is it a woman’s -energy bill,and make his country less dependent on a bunch of pompous elite , phony Islamic ,Arab and Persian oil Shrieks,and half crazy African countries such as Nigeria, Angola,Algeria , Congo, Sudan, and recently democratic Libya, yet this is the thanks you get in return.
    Now here is your revenge . No more celebration of his 4th of July , Thanksgiving, Irish Day Parade, Columbus day , Halloween, and President’s day Yankee style.
    Effective from tomorrow , let us start a petition to make Stokley Carmichael a national hero in his own country, by putting his face on one of our stamps. Without that man ungrateful Americans would never be able to celebrate Martin Luther King peace initiatives, and now their first Black President riding in on a cloud of glory to save the economy , and forcing America to become an indebted province to growing China.
    Wonders never cease, I tell you! You are indirectly a bunch of ebonics , or better yet country talking Hicks the man is indirectly saying Trinis. I am on the ground in hysterics , or to use a more appropriate, ‘awesome’ American expression. Lol.
    What is pissing me off is the fact that I in true patriotic fashion have to come to the honor of you guys , and other foreign adoring folks such as our Texan Queen Madam L , and the Canadian three kings Curtis, Mmramps and cousin T-Man are silent as a mouse, on this here blogosphere. Then perhaps , who knows one of these guys mentioned might be planning to run for higher office , are fearful of offending the sensibilities of the other.
    I wish them well.
    Love self.

  5. I think Blue Moon is correct.Trinis speak something that is supposed to pass for English and what is even more amusing is that they are always quick to laugh at their public figures for mispronunciations. This is totally ironic in a country where the English language is bastardised. Let’s master English pronunciation first before we take on Spanish as a second language.he is also correct in stating that customer service is an unknown concept in T&T.And yes, the floating US medical clinic is a saviour to the people of T&T. The government of T&T, led by that corrupt failure Patrick Manning, is too busy aspiring hoplessly for international status while the people suffer in stupid silence and patiently wait for the opportunity to stain their fingers in ignorant bliss as they express their PNM “till ah dead” tribal selection. Non solun sed omnibus.

  6. So why don’t you T-Man, encourage your obvious self loathing , world class Englishman ,and one time Trini author that wrote ‘Miguel Street,’ and a ‘House for Mr. Biswas,’ in such pristine English , to give up his Lordship , and British Country styled estates ,to come home and teach his people how to speak the Queens English?
    Don’t worry we’ll soon have the monies to deal with domestic affairs such as health , as pretty soon crooked uncle Bas would be convicted for his crimes while serving as PM , and our DPP would have the guts to put forward a good case to recharge his close pal ,our former Chief Justice, now that the Chief Magistrate got a tinge of conscience ,and after his close shave with death , is now ready to come clean to give the necessary evidence to ensure that he too write is memoirs while sitting in jail .
    The last time Tobago got a hospital Queen Elizabeth was running around Buckingham palace as a kid in cotton knickers , and this country hating ,head honcho of the now famous ‘greedy , geme, geme, dog with a bone,selfish club,’ is here pontificating about subpar health service in his country of birth while agreeing with some naive ,confuse Yankee that probably cannot even name two of the original Founding Fathers ,or more than 12 of the fifty States of his own country.
    Let the Chaguanas hospital begin, but it’s no problem if Tobagonians and the thousand of tourist that visit the island yearly, should continue to tousle like animals ,to get on the old river boats to come to Trinidad each time they need an appendix remove.,118320.html

    Lord save us from these characters like T-MAN that claim to be from my beloved country. A foreigner I can deal with ,especially one like “Blue moon after glow,” for I am almost certain the only reason this creature got a chance to do a first bit of traveling outside of Tallahassee , or most likely New York ,was because he fortunately married a desperate Caribbean immigrant in need of a Green Card , and working papers.

  7. In response to Blue moon, I agree that the average Trinidadian or Tobagonian seems unable to grasp the concept of “customer service” and I agree with you on the topic of traffic.

    However, just because you cannot follow the local Trini vernacular doesn’t mean you have to be so patronizing and condescending about it. In T&T, as in any other country, there are people who speak well and follow the general rules of syntax and others who do not. Having lived in the US for ten years, I have met many Americans who speak well and many who do not speak so well.

    Most Trinidadians and Tobagonians speak English at a rapid clip and at times it can seem unintelligible to the visiting foreigner. However, if you would just open your eyes and try to learn to understand the Trini accent and the colourful nuances of our expressions, maybe you would learn to appreciate the island a little more.

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