Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rules of (Gentlemanly) Engagement...

So I have to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year and with that I come with a New Year’s resolution... of sorts. Considering how long I thought about starting this blog, and how long I've actually had it up and running, I really should have more than two posts. I am going to try and stay on top of the updating more often; at least once a week if not more since the current state of the world is only worsening the already bad situation here in Trinidad. That being said, I thought I should maybe give an insight into why I started this blog in the first place.

The behaviour of a friend of mine reminded me as to why I took this small step to making some sort of difference. As of late he has been very vocal about what he refers to as the “genocide of the Muslim people by the US/UK/Israel”, a matter which he has an obvious passion for as is evident by his condemnation of any action or statement, no matter how small, that could be deemed supportive of the Israeli actions in the Gaza strip. It has gone so far to the point of evening using any possible opening as an opportunity to comment on and express his opinion. Whether I agree with him is a matter unto itself, but I do have to admire his passion for what he believes in. Now that being said, a very wise friend of mine for whom I have a great deal of respect once imparted to me a sliver of his wisdom, a rule to which I do my very best to adhere, most likely the only one I have ever applied to my unfiltered tongue and opinions.

“A gentleman does not discuss two things in public: Politics and Religion”

In his rightful expression of his opinions on the matter, my friend is violating both of these standards, and because of the rule and my own (partially uninformed) opinions on the matter, I have chosen not to engage him in dialogue. Based on this rule though, you could argue that in my blog I am breaking my own rule. Well in this instance I feel like it’s an acceptable exception to the rule. In this instance I feel like Trinidad and Tobago politics IS something that needs to be discussed, something that has to be discussed, and more importantly questioned and challenged at every turn. It worries me when I see my fellow countrymen, especially those like my aforementioned friend putting so much thought, passion, and effort behind matters external to the issues we are facing here at home. Yes what is going on in the Middle East is regrettable, unfortunate, even inexcusable, but I must ask: Why are we the Trinidadian people so quick to throw our voices behind external situations, but yet so very mute when it comes to things here at home? I had this very same argument with my sister when she was home over Christmas vacation... the complacency that I see around me offers a world of explanations as to why the situation has degenerated so far so fast. When a society sits back and says “Oh it’s not for me to get involved” even on the smallest of matters, it is no surprise that the small unpunished act grows and grows until we have a country that is falling apart at the seams.

So here is my challenge to myself, and to my (hopefully and eventually) growing readership. Stop being complacent, start living your life with the passion you show to the causes of others. I beg you to start questioning and challenging the status quo that has quickly absorbed the country and made it what it is today. Start showing the passion and love that we all claim to have for this beautiful island we call home, and giving that love back to her 100-fold. It’s been too long that we have neglected our relationship with her, and she deserves better, from all of us.

I love my country... do you?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday morning strip(tease)...

There is another post that should proceed this one, but while my blood is still hot I am getting thought to screen and sharing my horrible mood... after all, isn't that the point of a blog?

Dad knocked on my door about two hours ago, asking when I was going to leaving to run my errands. He had one for me to do, take the BBQ propane tank to be re-filled, since I was going out that way, only problem was that the place closes at noon... time to be up obviously, need to get out the door. He and mummy walked out the door as I started to get my morning assembled... coffee on the back patio with a quick scan of the newspaper, check.

While I was out there I figured it would be smart to carry the tank up to the car now before I showered, didn't want to be running errands all dirty if I did it afterwards. Walked out my bedroom door to see my mother sitting on the couch, tears streaming down her face... dad standing across the room looking somewhat dumbfounded. Perplexing scene, since they weren't supposed to be home after all, and well... mummy was near hysterics. Dad explained, "mummy's car got broken into and stripped last night." To put things in perspective, this is my mother's "new" car, she's had it for 3 weeks, no more. She hasn't finished paying for it, and my dad's contact at Neal & Massy Motors has still not sent him the car note.

No more explanation needed. Shoes went on, I went upstairs with him... stripped is an understatement. They went in through the driver side door, popping the lock out, opened the hood and cut the alarm line, the only real "destruction" that was done. Once that was done they went to work pretty efficiently, they took out the dashboard console, the stereo and (the one time) the camera she uses for work that was forgotten in the glove box. They took apart the end front of the car with machine-line precision, no ripping-gnashing-cutting-tearing-burning... all with tools, and they knew what they were going for... headlights, grill, radiator, A/C compressor, filter, pretty much every part that would be damaged in a front-end collision. Hmmmm... curious isn't it?

They went in with a checklist of what they needed to fix the car and took it. I am pretty sure I have seen the guys too, scoping out the car since there are always random carloads of guys who look like they are up to no good driving through here... the price you pay for living slightly off the beaten path. I might have been able to prevent it too, had I parked closer to my mother's car they may not have been able to get into it. I am not blaming myself by any means, but still, this is the second time since my parents have moved in here that my mother's car has been broken into, and we are now back down to two cars for three people since mummy's is definitely not able to drive anywhere.

Steal the parts from someone who looks like they can afford to just buy them back without a problem... what a concept!!! Trinidadian racism (yes I call it racism), classicism, and stereotyping, all decree that because of the colour of our skin we are automatically rich, and therefore by default we could obviously spare the mere pittance (read: thousands of dollars) that it's going to cost us to get it towed back to N&M Motors and repaired. Sure, there are three cars in our parking area of the building... but all are of older plate registrations, and none of them were bought new. Just because we're white doesn't mean that we have money, I hate to break it to you. How we only wish it were true. That car is the representation of my mother working her ass off to close on quite a few sales, and saving her commissions to get it. I am not exactly living paycheque to paycheque, but there are days that I wonder if I am living beyond my means. Dad, well dad is definitely not getting paid what he is worth.

If I am so rich, why am I still trying to figure out what other things I can do on the side to help supplement my income, and by extension the amount I am able to help contributing to my parents? If I am so rich, why is it that I don't have the new car that I want, the house of my own instead of the little bedroom in my parent's apartment, the boat to go DDI when I feel like it, a house in Mayaro to entertain my friends, the PS3 and games to keep my inner child appeased, the new cellphone to be Mr. Super Business, the vacations to random exotic locations around the world... I think you get the point.

Maybe I should resort to a life of crime as well, since it seems to be a bit more lucrative that what I am doing right now. I mean after all, I'd never be lacking for car parts, right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Mind in the Gutter or: How I Spent My Tuesday at the Office.

This entry is originally dated Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Arriving at work this morning I was greeted by the sight of a multitude of Police vehicles parked along Warner Street... the lack of caffeine at this point, I gave them not but a thought. Sitting in the office sipping lukewarm coffee however, the buzz began to permeate.

Apparently "The Admiral Nelson", the English pub located next to the office (where Rafters used to be for all those Trinis who haven't been home in a little while) was broken into last night. Or should I say, was broken out of last night? An inside job from all appearances, by virtue of all the insider info we got from across the wall today...
  • the cabinet housing all the security camera equipment was unlocked with a key, and the cameras were unplugged at their power source (we didn't sell them the security system, thankfully)
  • the office was also unlocked with a key and the safe was dragged about halfway across the restaurant, and left behind, too heavy and they couldn't get it open
  • the safe was also extra cash-laden as the security company had not been by on Monday morning to pick up the entire weekend's worth of cash flows
  • the back doors were broken outwards, forcefully... the one door they didn't have keys for?

But the straw that broke the camel's back was that they had stabbed the guard and left him to die in the freezer. Lucky for him they weren't smart enough to know that the low temperature in the freezer would be enough to slow his heart rate down, and keep him from bleeding out over the course of the next four hours until he was found at roughly 5:30am. He's in crticial but stable condition at the hospital now.

Went out for lunch today, and by then they were finally allowed to clean out the crime scene. Maybe salvage opening tonight since there was no way they would be open for lunch. I've never seen water running down a drain that colour. More appropriate... I have never seen so much blood in a gutter.

This is what they are becoming... opportunistic hunters... willing to kill, to steal an extra cash-heavy safe from the place that was willing to give them a job in the first place. Crime rate is going up, as fast as the total spending on the renovations to the Prime Minister's residence...

P.S. Additional thoughts on the matter...

The government situation is very much like that in the States - two parties that constantly switch power whenever the one that is in power loses favour with the masses. The problem lies in the fact that there is no difference between the two, each is just as power hungry as the next, with no mind for how they go about it. Yes, Trinidad is seeing unprecidented growth under the rule of the PNM party, but at what cost? That growth is also coming with skyrocketing inflation, cost of living, food, crime... and the list goes on. They are "attempting" to fix the problem, but there is little to no headway that I can see, apart from what they parade out in front of the press. And if the UNC takes power with the next election, what are they going to do differently? Answer, nothing, they will still be working towards the same goals with different methodolgy to arrive there.

With the sense of entitlement that the members of the government have, therein lies the sense of entitlement that the people have. When the poor see the rich getting richer, and driving around in cars and living in houses and taking trips all totalling into the millions... why wouldn't they feel entitled? Where's mine, I work hard, but I still live at home and share a car, and can't afford the things I would love to buy for myself, my friends, my family.

Why are you entitled because you feel the need to pick up a knife or gun?