Straw Gods & Mud Saints – What an American swimmer, the African relative of a top US Political figure and Barbados’ No 1 export have in common


I have been cussed locally and abroad for not yet having dealt with the astounding and incredibly sad tale of Rihanna’s no-show at the Grammys. Believe it or not, I have been doing research, there are connections – IMHO – between her situation, Michael Phelps’ blunder and Barack Obama’s half-brother plus many other US or UK political figures… Huh? Read on!


Not only in Barbados, but many places across the planet it seems we want near Sainthood to assume political office. When these lofty idols suddenly reveal their erring humanity and their reputations transmute from platinum to mud, then we usually denigrate into the mob like in Knight’s Tale who from venerating the late Heath Ledger as Sir Ulric, then revile him since it was discovered he’s (just) the son of a thatcher.

This glee at discovering frailty has a German descriptive;-

Schadenfreude [shah-den-froy-da] n.

Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

[German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida, from fr, happy).]

Case In Point? Can anyone recall poor ol’ Gary Hart who was considered a prime Democrat Presidential candidate until Donna Rice sat on his lap in front of the boat called Monkey Business. When it broke how he boinked her as well as his wife, suddenly last year’s mashed potatoes had more sex appeal!

Another case in point? Let’s go back further, in the UK during the 60’s when War Minister John Profumo was forced to resign immediately when it was discovered he paid for some nooksie from Mandy Rice-Davies (H’mmm, weird coincidence with Hart, eh? Both fell due to Rices, so is rice bad for you? LOL)! Apart from ye olde Bill Clinton, these guys if they were in the Caribbean even now, would not only have these items successfully squashed they’d be privately venerated as Heroes!

What about in Sports? Like the so-called friend of Michael Phelps who caught him in the midst of his own private Bong Show… At least the man wait ’til after the Olympics, maybe he wanted to see if he could do 100 pulls in 9.69 seconds? Poor Phelps would’ve been better off smoking yam! There are so many examples of where people elevate other folks to Godhood and then freak out when they learn these venerable entities are not made of adamantium but straw!

Humans have this worship-demonise complex down pat, because if there is an idol you can’t tip over or tarnish then look at his family… Like when CNN jumped on Barack Obama‘s half-brother getting arrested by Kenyan police for marijuana-charges later dropped… If they hadn’t gotten so hot and sweaty, they would have learned all was over before they began! But since the 44th POTUS remains relatively squeaky-clean then let’s see what dirt is CONNECTED to him otherwise, eh?


Rihanna’s career has meteored in less than half a decade – from her first hit “‘Pon De Replay” from the Caribbean flavoured “Music From The Sun,” to a multi-million dollar Nike Jeans endorsement to another hit song “SOS” appearing in Adam Sandler’s weird film “Click” to more sponsored-products like LG’s chocolate mobile and Cover Girl, apart from three hit albums – or is it four?

Yet Rihanna has alienated some Bajans, when she said to overseas media how she was taunted for her pale complexion or how Bajans are two-faced, meaning: praise you in front and curse you when absent (Yet that is so true on both counts, that’s why the Bajans get vex, LOL!), then in their view she was a stinking dog, don’t mind how they get on not so long ago when she wore a bikini with jeans going into a fast food outlet. A trend she followed and did not begin, mind you! But she was the worst thing out to dare dress that way, huh!

So when ‘Ri-Ri‘ started this “Good Girl Gone Bad” thang, many folks right here stated they were not surprised she turned so and Rihanna was doing as she really felt all along, sigh.


Bad girls will gravitate to bad boys, it is said, so when this nasty debacle broke down and led to all sorts of cancellations for both Rihanna & Chris Brown – everyone brought out their carefully hidden but well-maintained schadenfreude-masks all nicely polished…

Well, if yuh does lie down with fleas?

She wanted a bad boy, and she get ‘um!

I could go on but I would just get real vex here, what it makes me wonder is this – did it really happen for the first time? She broke a toe, next thing you know, Chris Brown buys her an enormous diamond ring – this in hindsight could be interpreted by some psychiatrists as the pattern of an abuser… Brown himself came from such a home, then again Rihanna has had no bed of roses either?

There have been nasty rumours that what led to the Grammy-Spat was she had given Chris an STD now there is a counter-rumour that she saw a booty-call text on his phone, plus she too emerged from a troubled past

Regardless, no one really knows what happened, yet altered photos are already starting to circle cyberspace, but I do not feel she should come back here to deal with two-faced Bajans who will say “Cuh Dear!” to her face and when they see only her shadow in the room, then start muttering, “Dah Fuh Lick She!” Rihanna needs to go far like Greece or Calgary and just chill for a good while – like six months at least, if she goes back to Brown? Well, then she really would be an idiot, assuming if indeed everything is true.

Here is what a popular local chiropractor says on domestic abuse, her pratice is situated just behind Quayside Centre, this is Dr Dawn Maddalone’s take on a sad spiral;-

Hurt people hurt people” in other words, people involved in abusive relationships, the perpetrator of the abuse and the victim are “hurt people” in need of care according to current health knowledge.

Adults involved in abusive relationships were exposed to abuse as children in many cases. They watched it or were attacked themselves; this trauma repeated over many years conditioned or “taught” them how to behave. Some will follow the lead of the attacker and become aggressive and violent, others will learn to “let people abuse them” they will not protect themselves. Instead of simply walking away from an abusive relationship they stay even after multiple hospitalizations, rapes, and beating or rape of their children. Murder is often the only event that can “end” this type of relationship if treatment is not sought.

Evaluation and counseling by a clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist, along with self help groups are common treatments. In Barbados a crisis center provides safe lodging and other assistance free of cost.

Alcohol and drug abuse are often key factors pushing otherwise healthy individuals into abusive acts. A common definition of an alcoholic/ addict is a person whose drinking or drug use, affects their personal or professional life. For example if family or coworkers are complaining or distancing themselves from me, stating my drinking or marijuana use as a reason, I am well on the way if not already displaying full blown addiction.

Alcoholism/ addiction are considered diseases, illness which can be treated.

Hospitalization is necessary for some alcoholics/addicts; others successfully go straight into self help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

The abusive behavior of addicted people damages others they come in contact with, family, friends and coworkers. Individuals, who try to “help” the addicted person, frequently burn themselves out trying to fix something which is out of their power and become ill themselves. In many cases their “help” actually enables the alcoholic/addict to continue abusing themselves and others.

Self help groups such as Al-anon and Nar-anon help the family and friends of alcoholics/addicts learn to provide effective help for their sick loved ones while learning how to protect themselves from the abusive behavior caused by the disease of alcoholism/addiction.

Denying and covering up Domestic violence kills. Treatment for emotional disturbance is readily available in Barbados and throughout the world; many programs are free, provided by employers, government health services, the church and self help groups. Private health insurance covers many treatments. Lots of information is provided on the internet. In other words, there is a solution!

Dr Dawn Maddalone DC is a registered Chiropractor treating domestic violence injuries for the last 20 years in Barbados.

435-9595, 251-4287

# 1 Kyro Rockley Terrace, Rockley Ch Ch

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