I really would have liked to buy shirts for all columnists in Belize, because I look to them for energy every week, but I have my budget. In the columns sections of the weeklies, it’s all about enlightenment, entertainment, political spin, independent spin, and flavor. Keep up the great work, all of you. Quién sabe, if you didn’t get a shirt from me this year, God spare life and my niece, Jacinta (AMANDALA’s business manager), remaining supportive of my having a column in the great Amandala, you might get the special next year Krismos.
My first shirt goes to Mike Rudon of the Reporter. Braa, if you have to go to a pub for a little libation so you feel the spirit of the season, take only enough money to cover a few drinks and wear my shirt which says: “If yu buy mi a drink my family will kill yu”.
My second shirt goes to Belize Times columnist, “Think About It”. It’s really pitiful how The Belize Times management rejects this columnist every week with a disclaimer. How long can a man keep telling a woman he loves her if he gets no encouragement? In the Catholic Church all you have to do is go to confession, do penance, and you are saved. The PUP is no church. In fact, if we believe everything Hubert Elrington tells us, they are a little hellhole. My shirt for “Think About It” says: “Expletive unu, Belize Times!”
My hero from the Guardian, Jamil Matar —I am tired of those PUPeez who keep harassing the brother. Week after week they hound him, and all because Jamil’s party is in the sweets now. I bet when the PUP was in power those PUP bohgaz didn’t know his name. Jamil Matar’s shirt says: “I know it hurts: Never again PUP!”
My hero from the Amandala, Clinton Canul Luna, hmm, other people already singled him out for recognition. You see where the Cuban embassy and friends rolled out the red carpet for the brother. Well I had a shirt with a little advice/encouragement for him, and now he isn’t getting it. It won’t go to waste. I’m a collector of political shirts to sleep in – infernal RED and wicked BLUE — and the Canul Luna I got will join the pajama tops.
It matters not to me if I’m charged with envy for denying Brother Canul Luna his shirt. People can believe what they want, and so can I. I think I’d better stop there. I really don’t need more enemies. Merry Krismos to all columnists! Be aware that everything you write, this corner is reading you.
Wil Maheia infers that Catholics are dangerous to fish
Most of us appreciate the fight being put up by Belizeans for banning gillnets, but did Mr. Maheia have to link the Catholics’ massive increase of fish consumption during the Lenten season with the vandals? Wil told the media that the price of fish skyrockets in Guatemala in Lent, shark flesh going from $5 to $15 a pound. Aha, the demand for fish meat is great, the price is sky high, and so the fisher folk pull out all the stops to get fish to feed the Catholics.
Mr. Maheia didn’t mention it, most likely because he didn’t want to rankle his political constituency here, but Catholics in Belize are as voracious for fish in the Lenten season as the flock over the Western border. Krismos is the season to be jolly on pigs and turkey, and Lent is the season to rake and scrape every fish you can catch, because the market is huge and the people, the Catholics, will pay any price.
This fascination for fish among the Catholics is deep-rooted, so if you’re thinking what I thought, no, it won’t be easy to wean them off it.
MM Del Rosario, on the educational website Owlcation (owlcation.com), says: “One of the oldest Christian symbols is the fish. It was used by Christians to identify themselves and each other, often in times of persecution. It is often found in the Roman catacombs, a secret meeting place during the time when the Christians were persecuted for their faith by the Romans.”
Del Rosario says, “The fish is based on an acrostic of the initial letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ. To understand this symbol, you need to know the meaning of the acronym. The Greek word for fish is ‘Ichthus,’ which is also an acronym for Jesus. The Latin, ‘Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter’ translates in English to, ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.’ Christ also referred to his apostles as ‘Fishers of Men,’ while the early Christian fathers called the faithful ‘pisculi,’ which means ‘fish.’”
That doesn’t explain why the Catholics go hog wild on fish during Lent … For that we turn to Aisling Moloney at Metro News, on the website metro.co.uk. Moloney says this fish thing comes from the Vatican, and it should be on the plate not only on Good Friday, but on all Fridays. “Abstinence from meat on Fridays is actually a rule laid out by the Vatican and remains in force today,” Moloney says in the article she wrote on October 27, 2019. I put in that date to make sure you know I am not digging up ancient news. That means you can’t get away by claiming ignorance.
The Moloney story is fact-laden, so I’ll just use the excerpt tool so we get in as much of it as we can here. Here goes: “Jesus was executed on Good Friday … he sacrificed his flesh for us. On the anniversary of Christ’s death, the church encourages followers to abstain from eating … warm-blooded animals on this day … go for the alternative which is fish, as fish comes from the sea, they are cold-blooded …
“… When Christianity was banned, fish symbols were used as a secret symbol for Christians so they could identify each other … Many of Jesus’ close followers were fishermen, and when the Lord resurrected he cooked a fish meal for his Apostles … The global fishing industry grew as a result of the increased demand for fish because of holy fasting from meat … in the 1960’s these laws were relaxed by Pope Paul VI, but the Friday meat ban still applies to the 40 days of the Lenten fast … The Friday abstinence rule is still in effect for Catholics, and can only be avoided each week if there is some other sacrifice in its place.”
I think the Catholic hierarchy here, when they realize that they are a major contributor to the depletion of fish stock, will reconsider their fascination with things that swim and have scales. Somebody has to tell Bishop Nicasio that if we ease up on fish during Lent it will dissuade gillnet users from using that destructive fishing tool.
Two Unruly Uhman
It doesn’t matter what field you’re in – writing, music, sports, leadership, you name it – constructive criticism can make you. We need other people to bring out our best. The best criticism comes from a sincere source who knows what they are talking about, but you can get valuable criticism from your enemies too, and also from people who aren’t as expert as you are in your field.
If you asked me about the way I lived my life, I’d say my ma is my primary editor. Oh no, she is not to be blamed for my many failures and faults, because she tried. But a lot of the good in me and the little successes I’ve had, her direction is in it.
I blame the editors for the loss of Leela Vernon’s most passionate song, “Two Kooli Uhman.” I’ve heard a number of her songs on local radio since she passed, but that one no one plays again. If Leela had sung, “Two Krofi Uhman,” I’d want to fight for the song as is. Maybe the East Indian Council lodged a complaint, and if they did we have to respect that.
Yes, but we shouldn’t turn our backs on that song. My advice for Leela’s family is that when they remake, produce an album with all her best songs, they include that song and do some ride over (I don’t know the term) to make it, “Two Unruly Uhman.” Yes, Two unruly uhman, fighting for a man…