Thursday, December 24, 2009

vision 2010: happy merry death of development

lest we forget, amidst the festivities, what does really go on in sweet trinbago, i still going and talk wha' i was planning to talk. when i see shit like the driver of tcn2641 beating down a poor female in the middle of the road in plain view, or jackasses using the shoulder like is a lane during rush hour to get themselves ahead of the rest of we because they so much more important then squeezing back into the real lane somewhere ahead thus making traffic worse for everybody else behind their reentry point, i tell myself: why you surprised? this is the same dictatorship that hosts summits pretending climate change is a concern while clearing enormous swathes of land for smelters and pumping+dumping who-knows-what into the beetham, that spends more $ than taxpayers can provide to build buildings that serve no function across the road from existing buildings already serving the function the new ones claim to (next non-fff post) while folks die for lack of medical treatment...and we know trickle-down governance works like only promises of trickle-down economics do.
for the recent commonwealth heads of government meeting (chogm), the ministry of community development, culture and gender affairs' culture division set up and administrated the $4million people's space in our savannah, according to the express newspaper's report of the minister: the People’s Space will be the premier spot for nationals and visitors to share in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) activity through participating in discourse, literacy, performing, visual and culinary least eight pavilions, which are designed to showcase the rich culture of this country to the thousands who are expected to visit during the hosting of CHOGM...
according to my eyewitnessing, these "pavilions" were leaky tents arranged circularly, apparently to look like a bird's eye view of a steelpan. but it seems the designated space was limited: tents were literally right next to each other with thoughtfully simultaneous programming in spite of no more than an unsoundproofed under20feet of open air between "spoken word" and the adjacent "panyard" tents- not that one needed to be in the tent next door for "panyard" to drown out the in-house entertainment...
i was an assistant stage manager for "masala" tent so i know that what little information stage management received was woefully inadequate, not even including names of performance groups and length of items, and i coincidentally performed in that same tent one night for continuum dance project; stage management paperwork for continuum's performance timeslot listed simply "guest of commonwealth foundation" with no information on who+what the piece was, not even to determine whether to set microphones or sweep floor for dancers, while our choreographer had no knowledge of being any such "guest of commonwealth foundation" so confusion as to whether the timeslot continuum' was told was truly ours since continuum was nowhere on stage management paperwork and had no connection to the commonwealth foundation, plus neither team knew in advance we were to be televised live during performance so nobody was technically ready. masala tent also had a listing (can't call it "information") for a possible "secret performance" (their term) that nobody would tell stage management anything about, yet somehow expected us to "be ready for whatever" the performance might entail at any time they chose to run it, which could be (and indeed, turned out to be) never. i wanted them to try and run it though, just so whatever they needed, i could not have: "what? you need microphones? will a props table do? dancers need a clean floor? sorry, might plastic chairs help?"
they had schools bus students in daytimes to see programming @ this people's space, but didn't actually schedule any programming (or open the food court, or in some cases, even provide water for drinking or handwashing) so all week students wandered around, bored+hungry, out of school for no good reason, 'cause we can afford our youth being less educated.
all of this exposition is merely the set-up for the p.s. de resistance, though, the deux ex machina. this poorly planned+executed "people's space" hosted a performance specially for the wives of chogm delegates on the last sunday. day before, i had to teach so somebody filled in for me, and when i asked friends+coworkers that night about what prep i missed for the wives, they gimme this story (paraphrased by me, with apologies):
middle-aged dude (mungal, not patesar) supposed to perform that evening rushing in, pressed about being late. nobody study he, until he ass hit the ground by the tent-circle and eh get up. the marish and the parish gather, stage management crew ask admin for 1st aid kit, and please page red cross area/staff, site-specific or on-call emergency staff and ambulance...all in vain, 'cause come to find out, of course, dem eh have none of that shit organise. dem have "people's space" in an international summit where they plan to bring wives of delegates (not that it should matter how big the sawaties in question be, "people is people, you know what i mean...") and in an outdoor performance venue (leaking tents in rainyseason with real weather and puddles and gusts and live electrical equipment, uneven ground and makeshift and often dangerous stages+staircases, unfamiliar suroundings for all involved, ratchify with lesser infrastructure to accomplish stage necessities) they have absolutely no health+safety services on the premises or on call. not even mercurochrome and a plaster for if you buss yuh toe. one of the stage crew start basic cpr and manage to keep the man breathing until some kinnah emergency staff eventually come and tell him stop and ask his name and pertinent (to what, me eh know) info; he thought they were going to jump in and do something to save the man, but instead they just stand up and watch everybody stand up and watch the man dead on site.
our redundant pm pm say development, progress, allyuh...
walk good.
ps: vexing that because of html tags i can't use the mathematical "less than" (20') symbol in this post cause blogger cyah overstand why i not closing


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