Features — 14 April 2018
Her moment to shine

I’m not the raging success but I feel amply competent to give advice here. Who in this world is so squeaky clean they can rant without end about venal sins? If you are a Catholic you know what those are, and you know there is a clear distinction between those and mortal ones. Some incredible people say, “sin da sin.” I ask them if someone standing on your toes and someone wapping you with a 2 by 4 amounts to the same thing.

The Collet Minister seems to be squeaky clean. How else can we explain his unrelenting pain over a “scholarship scam” that happened nigh twenty years ago? At least once each year, always at budget time, he goes after a former Minister of Education, from Lake I, about funneling a little of the funds earmarked for scholarships at UB into the hands of people who weren’t studying at the institution.

I don’t know the details of that story, beyond what the Collet Area Rep says in his hour in the House. He has a right to speak on what he wants but I would ask him, if he will tell that story up to the very last breath in his body, that he really MUST stop calling the names of innocent people. It is very, very UNFAIR.

Seriously, how do you go the House and call the names of innocents who could not have known that the little assistance they got came from a vote that was not book legitimate? My gudnis, the child whose mother received the assistance for him/her, is now a grown-up. That person did no wrong. That person’s mother did no wrong. And anyway, who can say that the assistance didn’t go towards that child’s education?

But this is not about that: this is about what that provoked, that being the performance of a lifetime. In one sense, the actress in the play is representative of a lot that’s wrong about Belize, and how Belize is unfair to herself. Belize really has to do something about this silly, punishing attitude towards local artists, this insistence on keeping them down. While our governments stymie local artists, the American television is killing us, annihilating our culture.

Diane Haylock is one of those talents who was stymied. Fortunately, in this world good always finds a way to steal a little victory. Scholarship scam might have been a misdemeanor, but it provided a script directly up Diane’s alley. The UDP called a press conference about it. Finnegan, playing Finnegan, did the intro, then the floor was hers, Diane’s.

At the time she was a run-of-the-mill, nondescript artist, had done nothing in the theater that anyone would remember her for. That was before she took the stage.

Forget that it parlayed absolutely nada in her political life. The UDP had chucked out Kenny Morgan, had handpicked her to represent them in Pickstock, and she would become the only candidate of a major party to lose to a third party candidate in a general election. Only Miss Marilyn, another handpicked UDP candidate, did worse. I don’t have all the hair off the horse tail in my hand, but it is my belief that Marilyn holds the record for the least votes garnered by a major party candidate in a general election. These women running in politics really have to do better.

You might have thought that Diane had caught Ashcroft negotiating the deal that would clean out all of our foreign reserves. You might have thought she had caught Price trying to do what he was trying to do in the Fifties, and what Sedi is trying to do now – sell out the country.

O poor Belize, why do you spawn leaders who have shaky love for you? After Belize jailed him, Goldson went over the Western border and found seven days of freedom. Price, there was a time when he was after the Central American Isthmus being one country. And Sedi, his flights of intellectual fancy are a 1960’s hippie dream of doorless houses, fenceless yards, and a borderless world where the children of rich people hobnob without needing a passport. You’ve really got to be naïve if you believe when he said “artificial” he was being technical.

All of us in this world have confused moments. Goldson, especially after Arbenz was overthrown and replaced, realized for sure that there is no place like home. Price gave up on the 1820’s dream of one Central America and defended us to the last square centimeter. Sedi is the one who seems incapable of coming to his senses. Maybe it is the unbridled arrogance that blinds him to his faults.

Forget the magnitude of the crime, whether it was felony or misdemeanor, mortal sin or venal, this was Diane’s moment, what she was born for, what she had trained for, what she had prayed for, and she nailed it. No, it didn’t sell in Pickstock, but as acting performances go it was pure Academy Award.

No dally, we dive straight to the climax. When she thought on the horrible fact that the mother of a five-year-old had received a few hundred bucks from the scholarship fund, she didn’t need onions or Bengue. The tears streamed from her eyes. In torrents they came, washing her face, her dress, the floor, soaking every UDP in that room. If you were in that room and you were a boat, you would have floated. If you were in that room and you were a cat, you would have drowned.

And if you were a judge in Hollywood, she would have got the prize.

Too squeaky clean to recompense Paul?

I would remember Diane’s performance at the “scholarship scam” the day she went to Punta Gorda to celebrate the life of parandero legend, Paul Nabor. As she waxed on and on about the virtues of the great man at his going away party, how much he had contributed to Belize, I wondered how much her NICH had remunerated him for the wonderful fruits his hard work and talent had bestowed on our nation.

Yes, I found myself thinking, this lady speaks fine words, mighty fine; I hope the NICH has recompensed Paul in cash equal to the kind thoughts expressed about him. And if the NICH hadn’t the funds, that she wasn’t too squeaky clean to go to her Minister of Culture or Minister of Education and ask them to devise a “scholarship scam”, yes, so Belize could show some true love to a Belizean brother who had done his country proud. It would have been for a good cause.

Belize really has to treat its great artists better, and not only in life. The life’s labors of a person is for their family left behind too. What is Belize doing to promote the works of Paul Nabor, Andy Palacio, and Mista Peters?

How to help women in politics, and not to

Some people think we need to treat women in politics better. It seems an impossible task, and it really is for women folk to figure out. Hn, I hope I don’t pay fu this.

The first plot: You know that a female accuser said that the UDP only harbors subservient women. But the accuser can’t be reading the Belize Times. I watch these PUPeez and the way they talk they see nothing subservient about Juliet. This seems to be a contradiction, but you can never rely on the Belize Times for any unbiased opinions. Masthead hell, the truth is not over there.

The second plot: If I were Claudia or Mason-Browne, it might pass thru my mind that a real here is that Finnegan is deep in the plot. He isn’t shy about saying unwholesome things about females, even in the House. (Hn, it is so in Belize that males don’t even hint at suspicions about Belizean females’ private bizniz. But those lessons neva tek with the winner from Mesop.) To pick up after the distraction, Finnegan is Barrow’s friend. So then, logically, females in their party run to Barrow for protection from Finnegan. We have all the ingredients here, so we need only introduce the little math.

The conclusion: If Finnegan goes to church, and Father orders him to wash out this mouth, and seal it from this kind of evil, then Juliet has no boss. And Marilyn and Diane are also free. And now that they are free, Lisa Shoman can be friends with them. If they and Lisa become friends, we have a woman’s alliance.

Undoing it: Hn, I think that Finnegan should stay away from church.

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Deshawn Swasey

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