I think Barbados is slowly slipping into a form of moral/ethical quicksand and is officially unaware of it, yet if you try to drag them out, they scream how warm and comforting the mud is… Afraid to blaze new trails or chart new paths in genuine Post-Independence Enlightenment, they rather cling to Colonial edicts poured into new Courthouses and declared Bajan jurisprudence or respecting a CCJ which has only 3 members and not one of those three is even the host-country. One can only ponder if the Caribbean really ever wished to divorce London’s Privy Council in the first place?

This is one small example, for when the Barbados Registry – which is collecting funds – dictates to the people it requires these funds from, as to how they must present themselves… Yet no immediately visible sign nor any TV or radio announcements warning said gentry what is expected, is it any wonder there could be what may be construed as a mini-Spartacus in reaction? The only notice given is taped on to the side of a filing cabinet inside the building, and it is so old as to have begun fading… Mind you, no sign is allowed as it is thought to deface the building and yet none of these customers are witnesses, testifying or on Jury Duty!

Political affiliations create tempests in teacups over the appearance of cornrows in the Upper Chamber, yet deafening silence over dreadlocks (However bound into a pony-tail) nevertheless establish hopeful precedents towards an enlightened approach as to how work is separate from one’s personal choice or belief. Even Liz Thompson was chastised for her Bongo Natties as an MP, she chose to lop it all off and have a bald pate and this too was a problem – perhaps a burqa would solve all of that?

These are the tropics! Should robes, ties and jackets be mandatory? What is wrong with a well-tailored guayabera –aka – Shirt Jac or Dashiki or Polo Shirt of light linen or similarly appropriate material? In Bermuda, their world-famous shorts are as expected as powdered wigs – in Amsterdam, USA and UK during summer, all Postal and Police staff are not only allowed but expected to use only shorts while carrying out duties!

Doesn’t Barbados have Summer more often than they do?

I feel it is enduring such terrible heat which led to the unnecessary spectacle of a Public Flogging over Punctuality, was the student asked why he was late? The teacher, I see, is of a Rastafarian persuasion – is he exercising his cultural mores? I am shocked there was no outcry for his hirsuteness (Could the tresses have overheated his capacity to reason?), but then teaching is not a Political position and therefore not deemed as significant… Maybe that is why some educators trail on the tailcoats of those so anointed?

Even on Facebook, outbreaks of a revival of not only colonialism but prudishness… There are some who would equate Risee Chaderton’s “Girl Next Door” feature as legalised Porn! Risee finds a ‘Plain Jane‘ then dresses and/or makes her up, interviews her to show there’s brains as well as beauty in there somewhere and voila! What seemed ordinary is now shown just as special as anything what might sashay down any catwalk, runway or other vehicle.

I dare to show that Page 3 girls in UK’s The Sun or any bodybuilding contest is more of a meat parade than Risee’s feature, and I have denied the FB crew their right to expression and they stated only **I** am correct in my view!


Ok, gasp!

Back now, had to blow nose and drink water, was laughing so much! Ahem!!

Of course we all know what this reminds me of, right? When those in the Bajan Spoken Word community got vex when I did not do as all others and just politely clap and say “Well Done!

I leave that for the dead-tree editions, this is where you’re more likely to find truth or a more frank opinion, ok? So if children are present when cursing happens? I write about it. If I think poetry is unnecessarily racially biased? Then I call it out!

Only in July this year, there was an attempt to place me in hot water for my daring to declare my opinion on a night of Poetry at Tyrol Cot and one of the performers tried hard to insinuate I was being slanderous and to go so far as to demand a retraction! It’s even happened with Polo, when Bizzy’s wife called me screaming about a review I did on Waterhall in comparison to Lion Castle

What do these have to do with Barbados’ Neo-Colonialism? There are claims all the media is watered down, yet when my stories appear and they are NOTHING like what appears elsewhere, then I am worse than Dr Doom and Darth Vader combined? It makes me feel the Spoken Word Community and some Polo interests want to SEEM as though they are desirous of Progress, but when actually given a chance, they balk at it!

All of this eventually led to me dropping a comment at ye olde FB that Barbados is more Colonial than Merrie England and maybe we should IM or text, hold it – too modern, send a Ramier Pigeon with a sheepskin tied on one leg, inside it declares in ancient calligraphy an apology which asks for our Independence to be transferred to either the Caymans or Turks & Caicos, who are far more deserving?

Barbados is allowing hypocrisy and dishonesty to be the benchmark for personal interaction whether on a social or professional level and if this is the rule and not the exception, would any investor really feel comfortable doing business here? Is this why Moody’s took a pot shot at part of our fiscal portfolio? We need to straighten up and fly right, take our blows and be leaders on Free Speech and FOI!

8 Responses

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  1. Really entertaining post.

  2. Barbados is independent? Could have fooled me.

  3. Part of why I am happy to do the Girl Next Door is because of the poor self image that many women have, especially young, black Caribbean women. We are fed a steady diet of "white is right, skinny is better, youth is everything and browning-love" it is enough to drive even the most well adjusted person over the brink. My aim with the column is to show women that magazine beauty is not something out of their reach, that the perfect models they see in the magazines neither roll out of bed nor walk down the street looking that way, the aim is to showcase our unique loveliness, intelligence and yes – sexiness.

    Women are now in a place where we can be more than one thing, we can be sexy while not being a whore, we can be professionals while looking occasionally like Jessica Rabbit and reveling in every moment, we have power, the power to chose our own definition of self and our own definition of beauty, to take that power away and attempt to make our decisions for us is the real problem.


  4. Ian, I don't know how you stand it, in fact, I don't know how most intelligent Bajans can stand it. One of the reasons I left Barbados was because I could not stomach the hypocrisy and corruption. It can eat away at your soul.

  5. the more things change the more they remain the same.The title given to this topic should been all of the above Sexism ,Racisim .Communisim.These three fit will into the minds of those people who think of such ridiculous rules as to how people ought to dress to pick up a birth certificate. What nextfrom these neocommunist. Not the end yet stay tuned

  6. I find it hilarious that my countryment (Bajans) are so much more conservative about things like hairstyles in Parliament than Bermudians, where during my residence there, I observed several MP's sporting dreadlocks, and no-one cared. I agree with Ian – it's time to focus on more important issues. As long as my MP represents my interests, and uses the brain that God gave him/her, I don't really care about his/her hairstyle – as long as it falls into that wonderfully wide range of "neat and tidy". We should be more concerned about what's UNDER the hairstyle.
    My pet peeve is why in the 21st century, with global warming driving temperatures up to infernal levels, our lawyers, judges etc. are still torturing themselves with wigs, long BLACK robes and other such reminders of our colonial days…??? Like Ian, I quite like the well-turned out guayabera or shirtjac. We have many climate-friendly options for proper business attire that do not induce heat stroke or apoplexy! Comeo n people! Think outside the collar and tie!

  7. This is fascinating, I was saying a similar thing to my teacher at Uni!

  8. Hi Ian, to think that this was written 6 years ago.


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