Mr. Henry Young, a three-time area representative for the UDP (Port Loyola: 1984-1998) and two-time minister of government, loves to share the sea breeze and his hospitality at Big Bird’s Isle with his friends and guests, largely for camaraderie, but also to push agendas, some very tikilish, to forward our nation. I do get the honor sometimes, yes, humble me, and on my most recent visit, on Thursday last, while I enjoyed the invigorating sea breeze, which he doesn’t own but has access to, and cold Belikin and a super delicious fish burger, on the house, he told me about his latest initiative.
No, he is not about legalizing marijuana, yet. If you don’t know, Mr. Young was one of the leaders (a woefully misguided group, some Evangelicals say) who pushed the decriminalization bill into law.
Pray God, when will those dratid Americans stop harassing Belizeans over marijuana? The way it looks right now, weed will be legal in all states in the US and they’ll still be harassing us! Weed is legal in Canada. Why don’t they harass them?
I must pause and tell you that that big disappointment of an AG that we have, well, he is for legalizing weed. As they say, nobody is all bad. Hmm, I might trade legalization of weed for implementation of UNCAC. Bobby Lopez says they are all terrified, but I don’t know that the AG would be warming a cell bak a Boom/Hattieville Road tu, because he didn’t get a full chance at our coffers. AG Pere failed twice to make the Big House, once in Freetown, where he was nipped by Francis Fonseca, and once at the standard bearer level, when, supposedly for the cause of a Mr. Willoughby, Faber and Saldivar ganged up to doblbenk him.
We all know that the AG’s derriere is on the cyber bill, which he doesn’t believe in because it is his thinking that women who get naked for picture-taking with boyfriends shouldn’t complain when their wounded ex-lovers spite them with a full feature on Facebook.
Well, he can play his games with the cyber thing, but not with the UNCAC. The UDP has temporary control of our army, and maybe that’s wherefrom he gets the brass to tell the NTUCB where to get off. I read of the upstaatnis in the Reporter. The Reporter said they asked AG Pere to respond to the NTUCB’s demand for the government to get serious about implementing the UNCAC, or else the NTUCB will have to get rough with them, and he snapped back, “It may very well have to be, or else.”
Sigh, when I read that I said to myself, how quickly people forget. Pere, Juliet, and Yellowman Audinett would never have had the oomph vim to go to the National Assembly and challenge the PUP government over wrongdoing, if the NTUCB wasn’t on a mission to show the government their “or else.”
It happens over and over again that you give a Third World man a little power and they need a new- size hat. It is the NTUCB that made you, Pere, not the ACB, who have proved, except for Brother “Spooners,” that the fake was imbedded in their bones. Talking about bones, what’s with John Saldivar and this drivel that he doesn’t have a corrupt bone in his body? Really, what the heck is Saldivar talking about bones for, when what we want to know is what’s in the adipose.
Anyway, to better things, uplifting things, Brother Henry Young told me that he made it over to Brodies Northside where he spoke with a Mr. Roger who is the manager or in management there, and he tasked me to visit Mr. Roger to hear what he and the good gentleman discussed. But I don’t need verification on anything Sir Henry tells me. I will follow up and visit/or make a call to Mr. Roger, but I can run to the bank with what Mr. Young told me because he comes from the generation when the world was pure between sunup and sundown.
I expect Mr. Young was jesting when he said that an Australian lawyer, who had come here to help clear up a backlog of court cases, remarked after handling some of them that “Belize was founded by pirates, and they are still here.” But if it is that the lawyer had to deal with some political stuff, we can understand his shocking observation. I think he would have drap down with apoplexy if he had reviewed the government’s crazy spending of the funds from Venezuela.
Mr. Young told me that Mr. Roger wholesale agrees with him that we have to do better for Belizean writers, and to that end Brodies Northside will sell books for interested Belizean writers, on consignment. I happen to know that that business house already takes books on consignment, because they have sold books for me in the past. Indeed, a number of other business houses take books on consignment, but the real clincher for this arrangement is that Henry Young told Mr. Roger that he was willing to contribute toward making a bigger book shelf in the store if there is a need, and if Mr. Roger and Brodies Northside agree.
I am sure my colleagues at the BBIA (Belize Book Industry Association) will be happy when they learn about Brother Henry Young’s initiative. We absolutely need more floor space at the bookstores. Hmm, I must seize this opportunity to tell the BBIA how ashamed I am about not reciprocating all they’ve done for me. One day, one day, but what I have to do now is remember to pay my dues.
There is a little difficulty with selling books on consignment, but before I get there and suggest a solution, allow me to spout off on the deal going down here with our books. We are in a battle for our culture, and the main opponent, the USA, talks in billions and trillions, while we talk in thousands and millions. The economies of scale absolutely overwhelm us. Our political leaders need to have more vision and be more nationalistic, or all the beautiful colors in our fabric will fade. We are a beautiful and interesting people, but our leaders noh di cut it.
The trouble with consignment is the cost of follow up. Our consignments are small, and sales usually being slow, it gets a little costly to be going to stores to check up on how things are going. On top of that, the business houses aren’t making a mint off sales of local writers (Belizeans are few and many don’t have the extra liquid to support us), so they really can’t afford to drop what they are doing, the things that pay their bills, to attend to us.
It would help mucho if one of our government departments seconded a couple public officers to a little department and had them take over the follow-up on consignments at bookstores across the country for us. They could do the visits monthly, collect all the little sales and mail, or pay into respective bank accounts.
By the way, I have no books on the shelves in the bookstores right now. Print Belize has a few of my books in stock, but you have to drop by their place in Belmopan to get copies. I hope to be back on the shelves soon, as soon as I publish a rotten play that has been clogging up my productivity some years now. I say it’s rotten because one, I dropped a few copies around and I got no likes, and because it is very fresh.
The great Adele Ramos interviewed me once and I told her about it, and it ended there. After I got the big ignore from all corners, I changed the language of my play from full blown Kriol, to a semi thing. A story goes with that, but it’s a little long so I’ll have to pass on that for today.