Features — 15 May 2019
Don’t do it, John Carr

I guess Brother John Carr railed about government wikidnis one time too many and somebody challenged him to stop talking, to get in the ring and do something about it. A man has to be very careful about the friends he keeps. Some friends protect you from evil. Remember how Toad of Toad Hall gheh the sense (Wind in the Willows). It was good, firm friends who made him get over his swell head.

Some friends egg you on to get into the ring. They are nowhere around when they carry you out on a stretcher, your face all puffed up from being pummeled with various hooks, uppercuts, jabs, and straight crosses.

I’ll have to ask around and find out who the instigator is. Of course John Carr is frustrated with all the shitn’nis in government. All of us are. And well, he’s got credentials. Successful businessman, to the bone Belizean after being born in America, always has a solution to offer on the nation’s many problems, yes, he’s got the credentials.

Of course Cayo South would like for him to go and get things right. We would, if we didn’t know that everyone who goes to Belmopan to get things right, ends up getting it all wrong. We have examples galore. So we put them up, so we have to tayr them down.

We know you don’t like governments, John. Well, who told you that you will like government when you become one? It will be a sad day for you, Braa, when you look in the mirror and the man you see is no different from the very one you used to rail about.

We are not great friends but we always have a big, genuine smile and chat up when we see each other. You put your hat in that ring, things will change. For me, I will just say, who do you think you are to think that you can change the way those rapscallions in government do business? Who do you think you are that your head won’t swell so much your cowboy hat won’t set properly on your head?

You see what is happening with those beautiful lady police officers, all because their hats don’t set satisfactorily on their heads sufficient to satisfy Chester Williams? If they can land in trouble, what happens to people like us? Sir, you and I don’t have the youth, the good looks, or the gender to get by if our hats don’t set on right.

That hat business isn’t the worst of it. Your Red and Blue friends will fall away like ticks trying to set on a cow that’s just got bathed with Asuntol, or whatever garrapaticida they use now. You know why. They’ll be having think tanks to figure out which one of them you will take more votes from. We have history to guide us here. We are not in uncharted territory. Brother Hubert Enriquez can tell you about it. He was a big man in our zone, like you, had all the credentials, but he was not so large after the Mean Red and the Vicious Blue put the squeeze on him.

That rejection isn’t the worst of it. We will never forgive him for the confusion he caused – I should vote for Hubert, but if I don’t vote for Hubert my vote will be going to the lesser of two evils, and if the lesser of the two evils doesn’t get my vote, then the worse of the two evils has their chances at victory magnified. This First Past The Post system is one hell of a crusher for a third choice.

Oh my gudnis, look what politics has done to Godwin. Eight years ago every guy in this country would have been proud, honored to have the companionship of Godwin Hulse on a fishing or hunting trip, and most every female parent would have wanted a man like him for their daughter. Now, just eight years later, he is a complete disaster, a wreck, an unloved, unwanted shell of himself.

I can tell you he’d have to buy all the bait, and all the gas, hire the boat too, to get anyone to go on a fishing trip with him. As for a trip with guys to go hunting, he’d have to bring the shotgun, the cartridges, the headlamp, and cash to buy a piece of meat at the shop if the expedition failed.

Whoa, I have to swallow vomit on the women thing, how they feel about that saint turned devil. No, I can’t say what his status with the womenfolk is at this time. Who can predict what womenfolk will do? Those people are a very contrary species who get a special kick out of spiting us. Quién sabe, after all his failure they might still consider him a top guy.

We should never fret over what we can’t control.  I say, so what, they can love him all they want, what is a man, what has he got, a guy needs camaraderie too, a slap on the back from species like himself, and all that is gone, gone, gone along with his credibility after he took the big job with government.

Ai, when people see Godwin these days, they cross to the other side of the street. There are so many old friends of his, friends with whom he plotted to put governments in check, friends who put out the red carpet when he came by. They don’t want to see him now. They would sik their daag on him, the biting one, if he showed up at their gate.

Trust me, John, don’t let ambition or desire to do right lead you up that alley; it ain’t worth it. You must have raised hogs. Get into politics too deep and you won’t escape the mud. Immediately, people will start wondering about you. And boy, can the human mind think things no end.

My brother, today you are like George Price in Cayo South; you can say hello to anybody. Today, you are like Godwin was. You can rail against the government and not even they will bother with you. You can keep all that if you don’t throw your hat in the ring. Don’t do it.

On a serious note, congratulations John Carr, for stepping forward. The First Past The Post is a heck of a thing (you should have picked up on and supported the Alternative Vote, which was introduced to me by Brother David Cruz), but entering the race is just about the only way to get your ideas out there.

Mendoza’s revenge

So, the Guatemalans made us run to court. You remember Jose Luis Mendoza (Guatemala White Book fame) and all the anger over the Battle of St. George’s Cay. Mendoza was angry with Arturo O’Neil, the man who led the failed armada from then Spain-controlled Mexico to St. George’s Cay. I don’t have the text before me but bitter, warmongering words are hard to forget.

Mendoza, disparaging O’Neil’s Irish name, said that no real Spaniard would have turned sails and retreated to Mexico, that a real Spaniard would have died on the battlefield. Hmm, if you remember, I reminded you that George Price had been to Guatemala, had studied there, and there he must have learned firsthand how angry the Spanish whites in Guatemala were about the Battle of St. George’s Cay, how it riled them up when we celebrated in the streets on September 10.

Price would latch on to the myth story, and perpetuate it, though he explained that his reason for not celebrating the 10th was because it created division between the Kriols in Belize City and their Mestizo brothers and sisters in Orange Walk and Corozal, not that it riled up the oligarchy in Guatemala.

Mendoza got his revenge. In 1798 we faced the enemy. In 2019 we run to court. We can hold up our heads behind the fact that we are living in a different time. If this was then, we would have been armed and ready to fight. That last sentence, don’t count it out. This story noh done. It is just a lull.

The Spanish elite in Guatemala and our mixed-up elite are hand in glove, working the process so their children can rape the resources, jet set around the world, drive the fanciest cars, and talk down to the masses. They have to come down off their high horse and appreciate us, or our area will blow up. AMLO understands. The caravans tell a story. The vote in Belize tells a story. Toledo West, Toledo East, Cayo West, Cayo North say NO to all oligarchies.

It will be one lukewarm September 10 celebration in Belize. We have to keep it up, if only for its touristic potential. A person like me, I’ll still take it. But it won’t be the same.

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Deshawn Swasey

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