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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Shyne reps Belize at 2022 BET Awards

In a special tribute to his former...

Kathleen “Mams” Maud Meheia, JP

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Correction: it’s not the Barrows’ party

FeaturesCorrection: it’s not the Barrows’ party

   A lot was explained over the week just gone by. When the Leader of the Opposition rebutted the PM’s brave speech at the 9th Summit of the Americas, the hood on the wizard running the UDP was removed, and my, my, it isn’t Barrow, it’s—Finnegan. For the entertaining, risqué Mr. Finnegan, it’s not about leadership, it’s about getting elected. George Price did say, well I believe he did, that political parties exist to win office, so it might be that Finnegan borrowed the script.

   Mr. Finnegan represents a Kriol demographic that is neither L&POB or Will and Sharper. The game there is making it by playing futsi ball with the rich & famous and white supremacists. Every man’s got a right to survive, but in the national interest, that narrow view had better remain inside receptive pockets in Mesopotamia.

   Another correction: my apologies for adding years to the age of former Deputy PM, Florencio Marin. My bad, I got it from an inaccurate file.

Not the “USSR” we knew

   As many leading thinkers on the African continent have noted, Russia is not the USSR that helped South Africa, Namibia, and Angola escape the grip of white supremacy, apartheid. Many Africans feel the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was wrong when he blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on NATO.  Ukraine, a former member of the USSR, had expressed the desire to get closer to the European Union, and Russia, the largest member of the former USSR, used its military might to cross into and bombard that sovereign nation. Ramaphosa did say he preferred negotiations over the use of guns and bombs, and economic sanctions.

   The USSR, a union of 15 republics, broke up around 1990. The USSR was considered communist, but as separate states, none followed that economic philosophy. According to one Wikipedia page, presently the only communist countries in the world are China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. It’s fascinating to describe China as communist. That description can’t mean what it did some years ago. Wow, only one country in the world has more billionaires than China! According to Kevin Bergin, on Quora, “there are 705 billionaires in the United States, 285 in China, 146 in Germany, 102 in Russia, and 97 in the United Kingdom.”

   Whoa there, 102 billionaires in “communist” Russia? How did they do it? The Wikipedia page says that when Boris Yeltsin became president in 1991, Russia transitioned to a market economy – I think they call that capitalist – and “well-connected entrepreneurs who started from nearly nothing” became rich via connections with corrupt elected officials. My, everywhere you go, the slippery politicians sell out the people’s assets to their friends. Aha, the Wiki says the new Russian rich stashed billions in Swiss bank accounts.

   You see why diplomatic relations with Russia weren’t sufficient for our GOB; no, in January they made it so that Russian citizens could visit without a tourist visa.  What a thing when you have billionaires with yachts.

   My inexpert view joins with those who say the story here is mostly about expansionism. This is a story straight from the Hitler books. The “Russians” lost the Cold War, and they are hell bent on winning back to the fold the territories that broke off to go on their own. There are deep issues here. At its simplest, it’s a story of man refusing to let his lover walk away.  In Belize, we always side with the lover.

“Time Fu Eat”….way too, ehm, authentic for me

   I’ve been meaning to turn my thumbs down on “Time Fu Eat” for some time now, and if I keep postponing, one of my detractors will be at me again for being so untimely. The show was in the news a couple or few weeks back, but so many heati things keep coming up in Belize one after the other, with no rest, and that’s why my, ehm, review kept getting pushed back. Well, no más, no escape, da paas time fu Carlo get di sense.

   My, that brother’s a big talent, international; we saw that when he was featuring often before the Covid-19 came and shut everyone down. I knew that he and his friends in Belize’s movie world, led by the I-will-persevere-until-we-break-through Suzette Zaiden, were up to keeping hopes alive, but I have this bad habit of never making opening nights. People who like revenge have said it is best had cold. That’s the way I like my movies. Long after the folk that will pay the scalpers fees have exhausted their interest, I’ll make my way into the half-empty theater. So, I’m late to the show, I’m not surprised, and Carlo and his cast will wish that I hadn’t made it ataal.

   Carlo told Seven’s Cherisse Halsall: “I think it’s like a dark comedy, I think that’s the way I look at it, and it’s interesting because writing it, we wanted to make something real, and so we don’t know where that fits, and we think maybe drama, but reading it over it’s like you know this is actually funnier than I thought it would have been, and that’s I think a testament to Belizean people too and culture in that we’re able to kind of maybe let’s look at the funny side of everything.” 

   IMDb said: “A uniquely Belizean dark comedy exploring how various people’s lives are impacted by socioeconomic pressures and political corruption, casting a light on the way contemporary Belizeans hustle for money, fame, and the next plate ah dinna.”

   Congratulations to the Reporter, which has been very bold at times with the topics it covers. The description that sticks out for me in the Reporter’s review is the word, authentic. Ah, one man’s sauce is another man’s poison. I like authentic, but when it comes to art, there’s a line I don’t want authentic to cross.

   I give an A to “Time Fu Eat” for knowledge of the subject. I don’t know any politicians, but because of the way they behave in the light of day, my gut tells me that’s how they roll in the dark. The script, no surprise, it flows real smooth. The actors are more than capable. Ouch, I didn’t make it much past midway of the show, because I wasn’t comfortable.

   I bet mature guys like Jules Vasquez, Groove Anthony, and the other raw brutes in our entertainment world drooled over the authenticity, and the professional delivery, and the energy and freshness of the stars, but, but ehm, aahm, for poor immature me, “Time Fu Eat” was just a lee bit too—raunchy.

   When I wrote Whopper’s Snapper, the son of a benefactor of mine said his girlfriend told him I should decide who my audience was, if I was writing for adults or children. I didn’t agree with the criticism; I thought Whopper was subtle enough to be read by all, though a lady at one of the bookstores thought I had crossed over to adulthood by use of the word s-h-i-blank, once. I really didn’t think it was so bad, not the way I used it, but for some it wasn’t right.

   Hmm, “Time Fu Eat” da noh fu all a wi. I’ll tell you something. Vybz Kartel might be the greatest talent anywhere in the last 20 years, but the songs I’ve heard from him are strictly for smoky back rooms. That young men walked around with boom boxes on their shoulders playing his music for teenagers and children was without the law.

   Why Carlo, and André Habet, who co-wrote the piece, chose to let it all out, I don’t know, and when this movie hypocrite will get up the courage to watch the rest of the show, I don’t know either. What I know is that we have big talent in Belize, and when this writer/director and his cast appear in another production, if it’s tame-er I might be first in the theater.

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